Accelerate spurts ahead in stretch to win Gold Cup

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Accelerate rallied from third in mid-stretch to win the $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita on Saturday by 4 1/4 lengths over Dr. Dorr, trained by Bob Baffert.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Accelerate ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.38 and paid $5.80, $3 and $2.10 at 9-5 odds.

Dr. Dorr, the early leader owned by Baffert’s wife Jill, returned $4.20 and $2.60 and had his three-racing winning streak snapped. City of Light, the 6-5 favorite, was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $2.20 to show in the Grade 1 race.

City of Light’s three-race winning streak ended when Accelerate turned the tables on his rival. Accelerate finished second as the favorite by a neck to City of Light in the Oaklawn Handicap last month in Arkansas.

Espinoza had Accelerate third in the early going while pacesetter Dr. Dorr and City of Light ran up front. The 5-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky swung out and drifted four-wide into the stretch before gaining the lead under Espinoza’s whip.

Accelerate carried high weight of 125 pounds – four more than his rivals – under the handicap conditions.

City of Light won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on March 10, one of his four victories in eight starts. He had never finished worse than second until Saturday.

The victory, worth $300,000, increased Accelerate’s career earnings to $1,712,480, with six wins in 19 starts.

Pavel was fourth, Prince of Arabia was fifth and Chile-bred Full of Luck finished last.

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