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Keeneland Sale Graduates Accelerate, Justify, Roaring Lion, Roy H among World’s Best Racehorses

January 23, 2019

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) today recognized four graduates of Keeneland sales for their performances in 2018, naming Grade 1 winner Accelerate the world’s third highest-rated horse and highest-rated horse on dirt; Group 1 winner Roaring Lion the world’s top-rated 3-year-old; undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify the world’s highest-rated 3-year-old in the U.S.; and champion and Grade 1 winner Roy H the world’s top-rated sprinter.

The World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are determined by international handicappers according to the performance of horses around the world. Finishing tied atop the 2018 rankings are Cracksman of Great Britain and Winx of Australia with a rating of 130.

Third with a rating of 128 is Accelerate, a son of Lookin at Lucky bred by Mike Abraham and sold to L. E. B. for $380,000 at the 2014 September Sale from the consignment of Bluewater Sales, agent. Accelerate closed his 2018 campaign for owner Hronis Racing with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) following wins in the Awesome Again (G1), $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic (G1), Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) and Santa Anita Handicap Presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino (G1).


He is scheduled to make his final start in Saturday’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park then enter stud at nearby Lane’s End.

Roaring Lion, a son of Kitten’s Joy bred by RanJan Racing, received a rating of 127. He was consigned to the 2016 September Sale by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, and sold for $160,000 to David Redvers. Trained by John H.M. Gosden for Qatar Racing, Roaring Lion in 2018 won the Queen Elizabeth II (G1), Juddmonte International (G1), Coral Eclipse (G1) and Betfred Dante (G2) in England and Ireland.

Roaring Lion

Justify, with a rating of 125, was bred by John D. Gunther and sold by his and daughter Tanya’s Glennwood Farm, agent, for $500,000 to China Horse Club/Maverick Racing at the 2016 September Sale. Racing for China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm, the Scat Daddy colt took the Santa Anita Derby (G1) before winning the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), Preakness (G1) and Belmont Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) to become the 13th Triple Crown winner.


Roy H received a rating of 124, highest among the world’s sprinters. Bred by Ramona Bass, the More Than Ready gelding is a graduate of two Keeneland sales. Claiborne Farm, agent, consigned Roy H to the 2013 September Sale, where Ciaran Dunne purchased him for $115,000. Dunne’s Wavertree Stables consigned Roy H to the 2014 April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, where he sold to Rockingham Ranch for $310,000. For Rockingham and David. A. Bernsen, Roy H won the 2018 TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) for the second consecutive year in 2018, along with the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) and Palos Verdes (G2).

Roy H

He opened his 2019 campaign Saturday with another victory in the Palos Verdes.

Accelerate, Justify and Roy H are finalists for 2018 Eclipse Awards, which recognize North American champions and will be presented tomorrow at Gulfstream Park. Accelerate and Justify are finalists for Horse of the Year, while Accelerate is a finalist for champion older dirt male and Justify is a finalist for champion 3-year-old male.

Roy H is a finalist to earn his second consecutive Eclipse as champion male sprinter.