After Accelerate won his third race in a row and fourth Grade I event of the year by capturing the Awesome Again at Santa Anita, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is there any horse that can beat the son of Lookin At Lucky in the upcoming Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI)?
Below are three pros and three cons:
- Like Juvenile champions, Classic winners tend to have been well-bet in their previous races. In fact, since 1997, 14 Classic champs were favored in their last race, like Accelerate.
- Good recent form has been a must in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Since the inception of the race in 1984, 21 Classic champions won their last race, seven finished second, five checked in third and one was fourth. As previously noted, Accelerate won his final prep.
- Over the past 21 years, six of 41 Classic entrants that met the Brisnet speed par in at least two of their past three starts visited the winner’s circle, producing an 18.05 percent ROI. Accelerate earned superior Brisnet speed figures in both the Pacific Classic (GI) and the Gold Cup (GI).
- The Classic has been dominated by younger horses. Since 1997, just 4-of-70 colts and geldings over the age of four have triumphed in the Breeders’ Cup finale — good for a 0.59 odds-based impact value (OBIV). Accelerate is five years old.
- Horses that earned a late speed ration (LSR) of -10 or less in their last start are just 4-for-62 in the Classic since 1997. Accelerate recorded a weak -15 figure in the Awesome Again.
- Horses with at least one win over the local track and surface have won the Breeders’ Cup Classic eight times since 1997. Meanwhile, Accelerate has raced outside of the state of California exactly once in 21 career starts — he finished second in this year’s Oaklawn Handicap (GII) at Oaklawn Park behind City of Light.