But he saved the best for last, overtaking the field after the final turn to win horse racing's richest competition under sunny skies in Kentucky.
Accelerate finished ninth and third in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile the past two years, but Sadler says the 1 1/4-mile Classic distance should suit him now.
While Eurpean raiders Thunder Snow and Mendelssohn played their part in the showpiece race on dirt, it was Accelerate who prevailed under Joel Rosario to end trainer John Sadler's long wait for a win at the Breeders' Cup. Second in last year's Distaff at Del Mar, Abel Tasman has eight wins and four seconds in 15 career starts and was last year's Eclipse Award victor as top 3-year-old filly.
Appleby said: 'I am very fortunate and it is just bringing the right horses here.
He said: "Everything went perfectly to plan, and she's been beaten by a great filly, with a great trainer and owner". The day was a curtainraiser to Saturday's nine-race slate featuring the $4 million Turf and the $6 million Classic. "I'd just seen the horse and thought, well shoot, it'd be cool to ride him at the Breeder's Cup, but evidently that was a very bad idea".
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Jockey William Buick piloted the Godolphin's Galileo colt to Europe's lone victory on the opening day of the $30 million racing extravaganza - dubbed "Future Stars Friday" with its slate of five races for two-year-olds. It was the first Breeders' Cup victory for New York-based conditioner John Servis.
Monomoy Girl bolstered her case as the top 3-year-old filly by winning the $2 million Distaff. There are 29 Group Ones but within them some really good group ones. It was the fifth win in 10 starts for the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt.
Gosden, who will will chase his first Melbourne Cup with Muntahaa on Tuesday, said it was a remarkable effort by Enable, which became the first Arc victor to have success at the Breeders' Cup meeting in the same season. Soon after Stormy Liberal out-dueled favorite World of Trouble to retake the $1 million Turf Sprint by a neck, 6-year-old Roy H swept past Promises Fulfilled and flew to a 3 1/4-length win in the $2 million Sprint.
SportsLine's Jody Demling nailed Gun Runner winning last year's Breeders' Cup Classic. The victory is the third Grade 1 win in four career starts for the undefeated son of Candy Ride (ARG), who previously won the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and American Pharoah (G1).