05/15/2010 6:53PM

Hollywood Park: Acclamation finally breaks through


In his 10th start in a stakes, Acclamation led throughout Saturday's Grade 2 Jim Murray Handicap, leading by as many as 10 lengths and winning by 7 1-2 lengths.

Without the three-time Santa Anita stakes winner Bourbon Bay in the field, the Murray was something of a consolation race for the division's runners. Jockey Christian Santiago Reyes rode Acclamation for the first time and made the most of the opportunity, leading by as many as 10 lengths on the backstretch.

Falcon Rock, fourth behind Bourbon Bay in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita last month, looked positioned to challenge Acclamation in the stretch, but could not closes sufficient ground in the stretch and finished second.

Acclamation will be pointed for the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap on June 5. The Whittingham is run over 1 1-4 miles on turf, which should be a tougher test for Acclamation. He is unlikely to set such a slow pace, but has experience at the distance. Last fall, he was third, beaten two lengths, by The Usual Q.T., in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby here over 1 1-4 miles on turf.