Super Accelerate ‘Tough as Nails’ in $75,000 Star de Naskra

July 29, 2023

Super Accelerate. (Jim McCue/MJC)

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – Steven Walfish’s Super Accelerate, stepping up to stakes company for the first time, got a patient trip from jockey Horacio Karamanos and dug in late to fend off a pair of challengers for a popular half-length victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Star de Naskra at Laurel Park.

The 30th running of the Star de Naskra for 3-year-olds and sixth renewal of the $75,000 Miss Disco for 3-year-old fillies, both sprinting seven furlongs and restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses, were the first of five stakes worth $500,000 in purses on a program headlined by $150,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash for older sprinters.

By Accelerate, a five-time Grade 1 winner of more than $6 million purses, Super Accelerate ($6.60) ran his win streak to three races for trainer Robin Graham. He was sent off as the 2-1 favorite after winning at odds of 6-1 and 26-1 in his two previous starts, the latter a 2 ¼-length restricted allowance triumph July 1 at the course and distance.

“[The trip] was perfect. We figured there was speed in there, and the last time he ran in the a-other-than, Horacio took him back and sat off them,” Graham said. “He could have been on the front end, but he purposely took him back to see how he would handle it, so both of us were really confident in him today.”

Midwest shipper Easy Action, without a start since April 14 and racing as a new gelding, was sharp from the gate and went the opening quarter-mile in 23.45 seconds as Super Accelerate saved ground inside and multiple stakes winner Coffeewithchris in the clear three wide.

Coffeewithchris ranged up alongside Super Accelerate rounding the far turn and was set down for a drive with Easy Action making his bid on the rail, but neither horse was able to get by a determined Super Accelerate, who crossed the wire in 1:22.54 over a fast main track. Easy Action edged Coffeewithchris by a neck for second, with It’s Viper closing for fourth followed by Freeze the Fire, Feeling Woozy and Tiz No Clown. Parkerness and Great Heavens were scratched.

“He was tough as nails,” Graham said. “We’ve been training him late. He goes out a little before 9 [a.m.] every day because we figure July and August is going to be hot, so we purposely train him later. A lot of horses go out early but on race day it’s different, so it wasn’t such a shock to him, I don’t think.”

The Star de Naskra is named in honor of the 1979 champion sprinter bred and owned by Carlyle Lancaster. He had a record of 15-10-4 and purse earnings of more than $580,000 from 36 starts between 1977-79, winning eight stakes and three graded-stakes, the latter during his championship season.

@Tracking_Trips nice call Jon

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