Photo: Bee Buck Photography
Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year finalist Accelerate is scheduled to have his final local workout this weekend before shipping to Florida for the Grade 1, $9 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park a week from Saturday, Jan. 26.
“The track was open today for the first time in three days,” said John Sadler, who trains Accelerate for owners Kosta and Peter Kosta, “so that’s pretty good. Accelerate will probably work Saturday or Sunday, but I won’t make that call until I see the track in the morning.
“The weather’s supposed to be good, we’re going to race today and they’ll have a chance to refine the track, so more than likely he’ll work Saturday, but it could be Sunday.”
EX-MILLER RUNNER FACES FORMER TRAINER IN PALOS VERDES
Peter Miller has three horses entered in Saturday’s Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes for older sprinters at six furlongs, headed by Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Roy H.
It could have been four, had not St. Joe Bay been claimed from Miller last May 28.
That’s when John Sadler haltered the 7-year-old gelding for principal clients Kosta and Peter Hronis, who have the consistent veteran flying their colors in the Palos Verdes, which offers $200,000 in purse money.
“He’s a nice horse,” Sadler said of the Florida-bred son of A.P. Indy stallion Saint Anddan. “He’s been good for us already (second by a head in the Grade 2 San Carlos, third in the restricted Comma To The Top and winner of an allowance race at Los Alamitos).
“He’ll like this track if it still has a little water in it, and he’s a hard trier, but Roy H is the best around in this division. He’s a tough horse.”
In 34 starts, St. Joe Bay has a 6-7-6 record with earnings of $610,515
The field for the Palos Verdes, race nine of 10 with a 12 noon first post time: Touched by Autism, Geovanni Franco, 20-1; Distinctiv B, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Kanthaka, Flavien Prat, 4-1; St. Joe Bay, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Conquest Tsunami, Joel Rosario, 5-1; Awesome Anywhere, Mike Smith, 8-1; and Roy H, Paco Lopez, 4-5.
MARATHON ASTRA DISTANCE IDEAL FOR LYNNE’S LEGACY
Claimed for $40,000 last Nov. 22, Lynne’s Legacy paid immediate dividends by winning the restricted Miss America Stakes at Golden Gate Fields next out two weeks later on Dec. 8.
Doug O’Neill, the meet’s leading trainer through 13 racing days, hopes to keep the ball rolling when the 6-year-old daughter of the late Unusual Heat runs in Sunday’s Grade 3 Astra Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile and a half on turf.
For a stone cold closer, the marathon distance should be ideal for the winner of five races from 29 starts with earnings of $305,780. O’Neill had Lynne’s Legacy for seven races before she was claimed for $40,000 by Steve Knapp last Oct. 28.
“We’ve been dreaming of her running that distance for a long, long, long time,” said O’Neill assistant of 18 years Leandro Mora. “She does her best running the last quarter of a mile, eighth of a mile as a matter of fact sometimes.
“The beauty of the Astra is she likes Santa Anita better than Del Mar, and there are not many opportunities for fillies at a mile and a half, so we’re going to try and take advantage of it.”
The Astra, race eight of 10 with a 12 noon first post time: Cheekaboo, Joel Rosario, 10-1; Lynne’s Legacy, Alonso Quinonez, 6-1; Arctic Roll, Ruben Fuentes, 20-1; Amboseli, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; defending champion Plein Air, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1; Trust Fund Kitty, Brice Blanc, 30-1; Copper Fever, Joe Talamo, 30-1; K P Pergoliscious, Mike Smith, 3-1; Indian Mantuana, Tyler Baze, 7-2; and Pantsonfire, Flavien Prat, 6-1.