A week after stunning Arrogate, the world's top-rated horse, with Hronis Racing's Accelerate in the TVG San Diego Handicap (G2), trainer John Sadler is already eyeing a potential rematch with the gray.
Sadler said July 29 at Del Mar that the 4-year-old Lookin At Lucky colt will train toward a run in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (G1) Aug. 19, a race trainer Bob Baffert has said is the main summer target for Juddmonte Farms' Arrogate.
"He likes the track, and if there was ever a time to try a mile and a quarter it's now," Sadler said of Accelerate, who dominated the 1 1/16-mile San Diego to win by 8 1/2 lengths (15 1/2 lengths ahead of 1-20 favorite Arrogate in fourth).
Although Accelerate hasn't gone 12 furlongs in his 12 starts, his best race before the San Diego came in his longest try to date—the 1 1/8-mile Los Alamitos Derby Stakes (G2) in September of 2016.
Arrogate, on the other hand, has thrived at the 1 1/4-mile distance, with a trio of grade/group 1 wins in the Travers Stakes, Breeders' Cup Classic, and Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline. His other top-level win, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), was at 1 1/8 miles.
Also under consideration for the Pacific Classic is Reddam Racing's Irap, according to trainer Doug O'Neill. The 3-year-old Tiznow colt, who broke his maiden in the April 8 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2), then went on to win the Ohio Derby (G3) and Indiana Derby (G3) this summer, is also under consideration for the Aug. 26 Travers at Saratoga Race Course.