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 Acclamation Looks Ready for Breeders' Cup After Scoring in Clement Hirsch

Acclamation Benoit Photo

By Steve Andersen DRF.com
ARCADIA, Calif. - Acclamation is bound for a Breeders’ Cup race at Churchill Downs next month on the strength of an increasingly impressive five-race winning streak, all in graded stakes.

The latest victory – in Sunday’s $150,000 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita – was truly a trial race. Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, Acclamation ($2.80) had an ideal trip, stalking pacesetter Make Music for Me to the final turn and holding off a sustained threat from Champ Pegasus to win by three-quarters of a length.

Acclamation was confidently ridden by Valenzuela, who gave his mount a few backhanded taps through the stretch to maintain an advantage. Acclamation ran 1 1/4 miles in turf in 1:59.45.

“It was a well-ridden race,” trainer Don Warren said. “It’s nice to see him lay second like that and go on to win. It’s what we wanted five weeks to the Breeders’ Cup.”

Acclamation is most likely to run in the BC Turf over 1 1/2 miles, but Warren and majority owner Bud Johnston have not ruled out the BC Classic on the main track.

The BC Turf may also include Champ Pegasus, who closed from fifth in the Clement Hirsch to finish 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Imponente Purse in the field of seven. Trained by Richard Mandella, Champ Pegasus was second in the 2010 BC Turf at Churchill Downs.

Acclamation’s winning streak includes four turf stakes, including the Grade 2 Jim Murray Handicap and Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park and the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar. In August, Acclamation won the $1 million Pacific Classic on the synthetic main track at Del Mar.

A 5-year-old horse by Unusual Heat, Acclamation has won 9 of 28 starts and $1,628,048.


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