The Breeders’ Cup 2018 results are in, and Accelerate lived up to his name with a late charge that helped erase a rocky start.
After a slow start before the race even began — including a wide draw and some hesitation getting into the gate — Accelerate was able to come on strong in the final stretch to overcome the 30-1 Gunnevera and take the win. Gunnevera ended up finishing second and the 14-1 Thunder Snow finished third. Yoshida came in fourth, with Mendellsohn taking fifth and Lone Sailor finishing sixth.
The race represented the first ever win in the Breeders’ Cup for owner John Sadler, who had a 40-year drought without a win in the race.
“It feels really good,” Sadler said after the race ended.
Going into the race, all eyes had been on West Coast and Accelerate, which were coming in at 5-1 and 5-2 odds respectively by post time on Saturday.
Many experts were also looking to Accelerate, which came in as the morning line favorite and was the top dirt-routing horse of the year, with five wins in six races. Accelerate had a bit of trouble before the race even began, needing quite a bit of prompting to get into the gate and getting off to a slow start.
It was expected to be a tight competition. As Forbes noted in its pre-race analysis, West Coast seemed to have everything going his way.
“After a 2017 campaign that culminated with an Eclipse Award for champion three-year-old, this bay colt has run only three races this year, finishing second in all three of them, all Grade 1 races. He was third in this race last year, and the talent of this $425,000 yearling purchase is indisputable. He gets Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in the saddle for the first time, his prior jockeys having elected to ride elsewhere here.”
West Coast ended up lagging behind the leaders, however, finishing seventh.
Accelerate and Joel Rosario win the $6m Breeders’ Cup Classic. A first @BreedersCup winner for John Sadler at long last!
Mendelssohn ran well from the front & Thunder Snow finishes a fine third#BC18
— ODDSbible Racing (@ODDSbibleRacing) November 3, 2018
Though the Kentucky Derby may get more attention, the Breeders’ Cup Classic is seen as one of the richest thoroughbred races with a $6 million prize, CBS Sports noted. As the report noted, the Breeders’ Cup often features the U.S. Horse of the Year candidates as well as some of the top European horses. The race also gets some big attention from NBC Sports as well, with coverage that includes all of the day’s races.
The full results and payouts for the 2018 Breeders Cup can be found here.