Accelerate will be withdrawn from Saturday's Grade 2 San Diego Handicap in favor of a start in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 18, trainer John Sadler said on the morning of the race.
Accelerate was the 8-5 favorite on the morning-line for the San Diego.
Sadler said he plans to start Catalina Cruiser, a 4-year-old colt who will have his stakes debut in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap at 1 1-16 miles. Both runners are owned by Pete and Kosta Hronis.
The stable hoped to run Catalina Cruiser in an allowance race this weekend, but the race did not draw sufficient entries. Sadler has spoken highly of Catalina Cruiser in recent weeks, particularly since an attractive win by 2 1-4 lengths in an allowance race with a $40,000 claiming option at six furlongs at Santa Anita on May 19, his only start this year.
"The allowance race did not fill for Sunday," Sadler said. "It won't be brought back (in coming days). I want to get this horse moving along. If I don't run here, I'm waiting three weeks for an allowance race that may not be there."
Catalina Cruiser is unbeaten in two starts. He won a maiden race at six furlongs at Santa Anita last October. The San Diego Handicap will be his first start around two turns.
Accelerate "can sit this one out," Sadler said.
Sadler said Accelerate is scheduled to have a workout on Sunday. Earlier this year, Accelerate won two Grade 1 races at 1 1-4 miles at Santa Anita - the Santa Anita Handicap on March 10 and the Gold Cup at Santa Anita on May 26.