Stellar Wind ‘Right On It’ As Accelerate’s Connections Get Back To Work For Hirsch

Accelerate’s victory over Arrogate in Saturday’s $300,000 TVG San Diego Handicap – the biggest upset in Del Mar history and one of the biggest in racing annals – triggered a muted celebration that evening.

“Pretty routine, went to Sbicca’s downtown, for an early dinner,” Sadler said. “We knew we had a busy next morning ahead and here we are.”

It was 6:30 a.m. and Sadler, along with Kosta Hronis – who, with brother Pete, heads Hronis Racing LLC, an extensive stable that counts Accelerate and Stellar Wind in its membership – were in the grandstand to observe Stellar Wind’s final work for a title defense in the $300,000 Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on Sunday, July 30.

Accelerate stunned the racing world with an eight-and-a-half length San Diego victory, at odds of nearly 8-1 while World No. 1 Arrogate, sent off at 1-20, came in fourth. Next Sunday, the circumstances between Sadler and Arrogate conditioner Bob Baffert figure to be reversed without the odds being so extreme.

Stellar Wind pulled off a 9-2 upset of 1-to-10 Beholder in the 2016 Hirsch and will be favored over Baffert’s Vale Dori.

“Accelerate ran great and we’re thrilled,” Sadler said. “At first glance he looks good this morning.”

Accelerate is now 2-0 against Arrogate. In the debut for both on April 17 of last year at Los Alamitos, Accelerate finished second, three-quarters of a length behind Westbrook and a neck ahead of Arrogate.

Might there be a rematch in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on August 19? “We haven’t even begun to think about that,” Sadler said.

Moving right along…

Stellar Wind stepped out on the track at 6:30 a.m. as planned and worked five furlongs under exercise rider Jose Contreras. Del Mar clockers timed the Virginia-bred daughter of Curlin in :59.60 for five furlongs, two ticks faster than Sadler had while squinting into the glare of the morning sun.

The three-furlong split was :35.80 with a gallop out to six furlongs in 1:13 flat.

“She started two lengths behind her workmate, edged ahead at the wire and pulled further clear on the gallop out,” said clocker Toby Turrell.

“It was good,” Sadler said. “We were looking for about a minute and she was right on it. She’s had plenty of time to train before here, so she’s ready to go.”

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