Accelerate wins Grade II, $300,000 TVG San Diego Handicap
Victor Espinoza (left) celebrates aboard Accelerate after defeating the world’s top-ranked racehorse, Arrogate, in the Grade II, $300,000 TVG San Diego Handicap on Saturday, July 22 at Del Mar. Accelerate covered the 1 1/16 miles on the dirt in 1:42.15, 8 1/2 lengths clear of runner-up Donworth. Cat Burglar was 2 1/2 lengths farther back in third. Arrogate – who had won seven consecutive races and more than $17 million – struggled home fourth, 15 1/4 lengths behind Accelerate.
“I think he (Arrogate) just laid an egg,” trainer Bob Baffer said. “I don’t think it had anything to do with the track. He was just flat.”
Accelerate’s trainer, John Sadler, noted that his horse trained really well the previous weekend at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.
“You want to win, you don’t want to concede anything, but I’m surprised we won because Arrogate is the best horse in the world,” he said. “A couple of things went right for us, and one of them was that Arrogate didn’t fire his best. That’s what has to happen for these big upsets.”
The 4-year-old Accelerate is owned by Hronis Racing.
Also on Saturday, Hunt outfinished Ashleyluvssugar in the Grade II, $250,000 Eddie Read Stakes. The winner is owned by Michael House of Rancho Santa Fe.
Other horses who notched stakes victories during the past week include Madam Lancelot (Grade II, $200,000 San Clemente Handicap), Bowies Hero ($117,900 Oceanside Stakes) and Madame Stripes ($82,775 Osunitas Stakes) and Blackjackcat ($79,190 Wickerr Stakes).
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