12/14/2014 7:28PM

Acceptance impresses again in King Glorious

Benoit and Associates
Acceptance, ridden by Elvis Trujillo, wins the King Glorious Stakes by three lengths Sunday.

CYPRESS, Calif. – Jockey Elvis Trujillo has a wintertime title for Acceptance, the winner of the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos on Sunday.

“I think he’s my Derby horse,” Trujillo said after the race.

How far Acceptance progresses in the next five months is unknown, but the colt’s career is off to a brilliant start, going undefeated in three starts. In the King Glorious Stakes for California-breds, Acceptance ($2.60) won the one-mile race by three lengths over 8-1 Pulmarack, who offered a brief threat in early stretch.

The win makes Acceptance the champion 2-year-old California-bred of 2014 and a colt likely to start in a graded stakes during the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

Acceptance was well placed throughout Sunday’s race, the longest of his career. Trujillo had King Glorious in third after a quarter-mile and second after a half-mile, stalking early leader Comanche Ruler, a 40-1 shot. With a wide move, Acceptance took the lead with five-sixteenths of a mile remaining when he was challenged by Pulmarack.

The threat did not last long, Trujillo said.

“When he changed leads, that was it,” Trujillo said. “He has a lot of talent. He can be better.”

Acceptance, by Vronsky, ran a mile in 1:35.81. Pulmarack, a maiden race winner at Santa Anita in October in his last start, finished a half-length in front of 15-1 Kluszewski, a maiden race winner here Dec. 4.

Mischief Clem was fourth, followed by Comanche Ruler and P Club.

Acceptance is trained by Don Warren for breeders Bud and Judy Johnston and co-owner Robert Riggio.

Acceptance won his debut at Santa Anita in a maiden race for California-breds by 13 1/4 lengths on Oct. 5 and won his stakes debut in the Golden State Juvenile on Nov. 1. He has earned $257,600.

One of the colt’s assets is his mind, according to assistant trainer Kenny Black.

“He’s a cool horse to be around,” Black said. “He makes us look good.”

Bud Johnston said Acceptance’s first three wins make it easy to look forward to the races that lead to the Triple Crown.

“It’s exciting to have a young horse that has a shot,” he said. “You can only dream about that.”