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Breeders’ Cup 2018 Betting Preview: Accelerate the Favorite

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in News

Updated Mar 26, 2020 · 3:15 PM PDT

Justify Horse
Justify's iron grip on Horse of the Year could loosen if Accelerate wins the Breeders Cup Classic. Photo by Mike Lizzi (flickr) [CC License].
  • Accelerate is a deserving favorite at the 2018 Breeders Cup Classic
  • Could he challenge Justify’s claim to Horse of the Year?
  • Who can stop Accelerate?

The 2018 Breeders Cup Classic is shaping up to be one of the most important and exciting races in recent history. Here’s our betting preview of what could be the most interesting race at Churchill Downs this year.

2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic Odds

Which Horse Will Win the 2018 Breeders Cup? Odds
Accelerate +275
Mckinzie +500
Catholic Boy +600
Roaring Lion +700
West Coast +700

Accelerate the Deserving Favorite

It’s hard to form an argument that Accelerate is overrated, or imagine a race in which he doesn’t win. Accelerate’s list of accomplishments this year is just too impressive: he’s won all the G1 races he’s started, sweeping the Santa Anita Handicap, Gold Cup at Santa Anita, Pacific Classic, and Awesome Again Stakes. Accelerate might even challenge Justify for Horse of the Year, particularly if he adds a fifth win at the Breeders Cup.

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In a year full of great horses, it’s very interesting that a Triple Crown winner is being challenged for Horse of the Year. There will be a lot of horses trying to stop him, however, and this field is full of fantastic talent.

Can Anyone Stop Accelerate?

Doing his best to prevent Accelerate from scoring another win will be McKinzie, a Bob Baffert-trained horse and colleague of Justify. McKinzie is something of a conondrum, some think he’s a great horse who hasn’t quite lived up to his potential yet, some think that he’s a bust. Is he afraid of the whip? Can he travel well? Is winning one of the slowest Pennsylvania Derbies in recent memory really that impressive? Will the injury that prevented him from taking on the Kentucky Derby limit him in the Breeders Cup Classic?

Roaring Lion will be racing on dirt for the first time, but performed well enough on turf to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes just two weeks ago.

There are a couple other great horses in this field, most with G1 wins. Roaring Lion will be racing on dirt for the first time, but performed well enough on turf to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes just two weeks ago. Catholic Boy is coming off a win at the Travers Stakes, the same race Arrogate won before his 2016 win, and looks to be on fine form. Discreet Lover won the Jockey Club Gold Cup and could be a contender. Mind Your Biscuits is the highest earning New York-bred horse in history, and shouldn’t be counted out.

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Then there’s the horses that haven’t scored a G1 win yet, but are still contenders. Axelrod came second to McKinzie in the Pennsylvania Derby. Thunder Snow was a neck short of Discreet Lover in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Pavel was second to Accelerate at the Pacific Classic. All good horses that have just come up short in 2018.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Advice

The real contenders are Catholic Boy, Roaring Lion, Mind Your Biscuits, and Accelerate. There’s other great horses in this race, but these four stand above the rest of the competition. I’d stay away from the favorite odds on Accelerate, they are just a little too short, and pick whichever of the rest most impresses you. If you’re betting trifectas, these are the horses to build your boxed bets with.

If you really like Accelerate, you can make some great banker bets with him and the horses mentioned above. They really are the class of the field.

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