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Congratuations to Beyond 02 Water Drinkers

Accelerate (winner Pacific Stakes and qualified for the 2018 Breeder's Stakes.  Contender for the
Eclipse Award)

Catalina Cruiser (winner Pat O'Brien Stakes and qualified for the
2018 Breeder's Stakes)

True Royality (winner of The Torrey Pines Stakes Grade II - 8-24-18)

and John Sadler, trainer

 

Catalina Cruiser
Catalina Cruiser (Benoit)

True Royalty (Benoit)
Pacific Stakes
Accelerate (Benoit)

Saturday, Del Mar PAT O'BRIEN S.-GII, $196,000, Del Mar, 8-25, 3yo/up, 7f, 1:22.13, ft. 1--CATALINA CRUISER, 121, c, 4, by Union Rags 1st Dam: Sea Gull, by Mineshaft 2nd Dam: Exclusive Bird, by Storm Bird 3rd Dam: Exclusive Moment, by Exclusive Native ($370,000 Ylg '15 KEESEP). O-Hronis Racing LLC; B-W S Farish (KY); T-John W Sadler; J-Drayden Van Dyke. $120,000. Lifetime Record: 4-4-0-0, $303,600. *1/2 to Eagle (Candy Ride {Arg}), GSW & GISP, $754,186. Werk Nick Rating: A+

Even though Saturday’s GII Pat O’Brien S. at Del Mar was decimated by the scratches of the likes of champion sprinter Roy H (More Than Ready) and last-out GI Bing Crosby S. hero Ransom The Moon (Malibu Moon), it did not lose its star attraction, and Hronis Racing’s Catalina Cruiser did not disappoint, as he remained perfect in four career appearances with a thoroughly dominating performance. Drawn inside in the field of four, the blaze-faced chestnut was coddled along to hold his spot from the fence as the transplanted Threefiveindia (Street Hero) led from between horses and the comebacking ‘TDN Rising Star’ Battle of Midway stalked three deep. Given a bit of rein entering the turn, the $370,000 Keeneland September purchase kicked further in front off the home corner and was the better part of five lengths clear under the wire. Battle of Midway, last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile hero who was returned to the barn of Jerry Hollendorfer after proving subfertile at stud, was a bit slow into stride and stuck to his task as best as he could, but was no match for Catalina Cruiser, who has this year’s Dirt Mile as his long-term objective.

Providing leading rider Drayden Van Dyke with his third victory of the afternoon, True Royalty scored a decisive 3 1/2-length victory in Sunday's Grade III $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Del Mar.

True Royalty, a daughter of Yes It's True, surged to the front entering the stretch and drew off to win at odds of 8-1. Just Grazed Me, unbeaten in two starts, including the Fleet Treat Stakes this season, was the 2-1 favorite, and finished second, 2 1/2 lengths in front of third-place Spring Lily, with Broome fourth in the field of 10 fillies. Withdrawn was Wicked Storm.

True Royalty, owned by the Batchelor Family Trust and trained by John Sadler for his eighth stakes win of the meeting, was timed in 1:39.07 for the mile on the main track and returned $19.20, $8 and $5.60 while earning $60,000 with her third win in seven outings and first stakes success. She now has a bankroll of $154,510.

Just Grazed Me returned $4.20 and $3.20, while Spring Lily returned $9.80 to show.

With his saddle triple, Van Dyke now has 33 wins, nine in stakes events, as he seeks his first Del Mar championship. He is four ahead of defending champion Flavien Prat who kept pace by also booting in three winners.

Moving closer to his third Del Mar training title was Peter Miller who sent out four winners in five chances to open a 12-win lead over Doug O'Neill, 28-16, with six days remaining of the 2018 Del Mar summer meet.

There were three perfect tickets in the Pick Six and each was worth $31,242.

DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (True Royalty, winner) – “I was loaded going into that first turn; she was really keen to go on. But at the half-mile (pole) she relaxed. Then we were good to go. She's a nice filly and she ran big today. I had more left at the finish, too. The summer is going great. I'm trying to stay focused and ride each race as best as I can. I don't want to think too much about it (the possibility of winning the Del Mar riding title). If I can do it – great. Then I'll celebrate. But right now I don't want to be counting any eggs before they hatch.”

TYLER BAZE (Just Grazed Me, second) – “She's a really nice filly. She ran great again today.”

GARY STEVENS (Spring Lily, third) – “I had a good trip and she put in a good run. You have to be happy with her race.”

JUAN LEYVA, assistant to John Sadler (True Royalty, winner) – “John has been sick all week with a cold and he's home trying to get over it. We were really high on this horse, we just haven't been able to get the race that we wanted for her for a long time. We knew she wanted to go two turns and she's been working great for this race. She hasn't missed a beat since she's been down here and she loves it here.“

FRACTIONS: :22.84 :45.57 1:12.93 1:25.71 1:39.07

Hronis Racing's Accelerate became just the third horse to win the Santa Anita Handicap, Gold Cup and Pacific Classic in the same year on Saturday, romping by a record 12 1/2 lengths in the $1 million Del Mar feature. Ridden by Joel Rosario for his fourth win on the card, the 5-year-old son of Lookin at Lucky sat just off the pace until the turn, when he simply overwhelmed his rivals and was in a race all his own to the wire. Accelerate, favored at 2-5, ran 1 1/4 miles over Del Mar's fast main track in 2:01.83.

This is the first Pacific Classic winner for trainer John Sadler, who has saddled 12 starters in the race. Accelerate's effort also earned him an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Classic this fall at Churchill Downs.

Accelerate broke a bit awkwardly, and Rosario had to ask him to move up rolling down the backstretch for the first time. Heading into the clubhouse turn, Roman Rosso had emerged as the leader, with Prime Attraction about a length behind him in the two-path. Accelerate stayed three-wide, maintaining a clear third position a couple lengths ahead of Pavel, who had not raced since his June 16 win in the Stephen Foster.

Roman Rosso, making his first start in the United States and given Lasix for the first time, put up steady fractions of :23.05, :46.49, and 1:11.25. He stretched his advantage to almost two lengths down the backstretch, but nearing the far turn, both Prime Attraction and Accelerate began putting pressure on the leader.

Suddenly, Rosario gave Accelerate his cue while three-wide and the horse responded with a giant kick to easily put three lengths on his rivals. Mario Gutierrez, aboard Pavel, saw Accelerate go and began urging his mount on for the chase, but Pavel could not match strides with the winner.

Cruising down the stretch, Accelerate and Rosario crossed the wire a record 12 1/2 lengths ahead of Pavel, with Prime Attraction hanging on to finish third. Roman Rosso was fourth.

“It was very impressive,” said Sadler. “He's been good on this track, he's won stakes here every year. He's better this year so you had to figure he'd be better on this track this year. The only thing I was nervous about was Joel (Rosario). I told him ‘Ride him like he's the best horse. Don't let anything cheap get in front of you. Stay in contact with the leaders'. He did that so I knew (Accelerate) would kick in well. I wanted to keep them (Accelerate and G2 San Diego Handicap winner Catalina Cruiser) separated. We had the best horse and the second best horse and we wanted to use them in different races. (His personal feeling at the moment?) Just relief. I thought we had the best horse. He had a really good week. I woke up this morning refreshed. The toughest thing all day was getting into the parking lot.”

Bred in Kentucky by Mike Abraham, Accelerate was a $380,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale. Always a consistent top-level performer, he has had a breakout season in 2018, compiling four wins from five starts. On Saturday, Accelerate joined Game On Dude and Lava Man as the only winners of the Pacific Classic, Gold Cup and Big ‘Cap in the same year. Overall, Accelerate's record stands at 8-5-5 from 20 starts for earnings over over $2.3 million.

We don't get to see a lot of 5-year-old horses anymore,” said Kosta Hronis. “So this was great that he was able to stay on the track for another year and really mature and get better, and that's what he has done. I'm so happy for John Sadler. This is his first Pacific Classic win and for this horse to be a part of it is such an honor. We're happy for us, of course, but we're so happy for John. He's done so much and he's meant so much to us. He's more than a trainer. He's trained the horses and he's trained us. We had no idea about the horse racing business when we got involved in 2010. We thought we knew something. We knew nothing.”

Hronis talked about the jockey switch from Victor Espinoza, who was injured in a training accident, to Rosario.

“Joel rode a great race,” he said. “He's been good all day. When we lost Victor (Espinoza) it was disheartening. I'm glad it was John's decision. John knew what to do. He felt really comfortable going to Joel.”

(On sweeping the Big Three in California) “That's such an honor. For him to be in a position to attempt to do that was wonderful. That he actually pulled it off is great. To be in the conversation with those great horses is a thrill for us, no doubt.”.

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