Accelerate wins $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs

Horse Racing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Accelerate took the lead at the top of the stretch and held off Gunnevera to win the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by a length Saturday, strengthening his bid for Horse of the Year over Triple Crown winner Justify.

The race lacked the retired Justify and left a wide-open field, which the chestnut 5-year-old horse eventually overtook after breaking from the No. 14 post as the favorite. Accelerate made a sweeping move in the far turn and was in charge at the top of the stretch, then held off Gunnevera for his fifth consecutive Grade 1 victory and sixth of seven overall this year.

That gave trainer John Sadler his first Breeders’ Cup win since his initial starter 30 years ago.

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