It’s been a very strange year for three-year old colts. The Pennsylvania Derby was proof that there’s always time for some horses to emerge late in the season. Out west over the weekend, the 2016 Los Alamitos Derby saw the continued development of John Sadler’s Accelerate, who was able to fend off his rivals to earn a solid victory.
Semper Fortis and Blackjackcat were the other top choices at the 2016 Los Alamitos Derby, though Accelerate remained the odds on favorite. They were led out by Chris and Dave, a longshot, who maintained a quick pace all the way in to the final turn. Accelerate was caught out wide, and trailed Semper Fortis down the homestretch but was able to find another gear. Blackjackcat battled Accelerate for much of the final lengths but had to check out due to a hard line that took him right up in to Semper Fortis, who held on for second.
With a 2016 Los Alamitos Derby win, Accelerate delivered $3.80, $2.40, and $2.10 across the board. Semper Fortis paid out $2.80 and $2.20, and Blackjackcat was worth $2.60 to show.
Accelerate is a great addition to the three-year old class despite a slow start to his season. With the Pennsylvania Derby seeing both Exaggerator and Nyquist fail to live up to expectations, horse players will look elsewhere for value and promise. “He got behind the calendar,” Sadler admitted after the Los Alamitos Derby. “He’s a 3-year-old that wasn’t ready early and he’s been coming on strong. We’re excited where he is and hopefully we have a Saturday horse going into next year.”
“We had a wide trip all the way around, so it was a game effort, considering we didn’t get to save any ground.” It wasn’t the most optimal pathway for Accelerate, but it paid off given how much talent he has. The 2016 Los Alamitos Derby was a chance for him to show off his form, and he did so in convincing fashion.
Figuring out how to position yourself better in races is part of the growth a colt goes through in stakes races. “He’s a horse who is still learning and has a lot of room for improvement,” added Baze, who has ridden Accelerate during all of his races. If the rate of progress he has shown continues to trend upward, we could be looking at a really special horse.