Horse Of The Year: Does Accelerate Have A Chance At Title?

A victory by Accelerate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic would enhance his resume, but whether it would be enough to outpoll undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify for Horse of the Year honors ain’t necessarily so.

“I’ll take my hat off to Accelerate,” said private clocker and bloodstock agent Gary Young. “He’s done something few horses have done as far as reaching his peak at age five.

“He’s much better now than he was in previous years, and he’s done very well in the handicap division. But a horse can’t win the Triple Crown without being Horse of the Year, and that’s no disrespect to Accelerate or the job (trainer John) Sadler and the Hronis brothers (owners Kosta and Peter) have done with him.

“But if a horse wins the Triple Crown, that seals Horse of the Year for him in my book.”

Meanwhile, Sadler has Accelerate set to work at 6:30 Saturday morning in his first breeze since winning the Awesome Again Stakes on Sept. 29. Assistant trainer and former jockey Juan Leyva will be aboard for the first of three drills at Santa Anita before Accelerate ships to Kentucky the week of the Breeders’ Cup Classic which will be run Nov. 3.

“Everything’s going smooth, no bumps in the road,” Sadler said of Accelerate, 5-2 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic future Book #2 to win the race. “Catalina Cruiser (favored in the Dirt Mile Nov. 3) works Sunday, as does Catapult (also Dirt Mile).”

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