09/23/2009 11:00PM

Acclamation may go after the bigger purse


POMONA, Calif. - How weird is it to scratch from a $50,000 stakes to go in an easier race for double the purse?

That is the unusual decision facing trainer Don Warren. His improving 3-year-old Acclamation, third in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, is the preliminary favorite Saturday at Fairplex Park in the Pomona Derby (race 11) for 3-year-olds.

But Warren and owners Bud and Judy Johnston may scratch Acclamation from the Pomona Derby and face older horses a day later in the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Handicap on Sunday.

"We will be considering the bigger purse and the pace scenario before we decide," Warren said. "It looks like there is quite a bit of speed in the Pomona Derby."

That does not benefit Acclamation, who three weeks ago came within three-quarters of a length of a huge upset in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby. Overlooked at 59-1, he got loose out front, led to deep stretch, and then weakened to third.

Acclamation will try to reproduce the effort this weekend at Fairplex, either Saturday in the 1 1/16-mile Pomona Derby, or Sunday in the 1 1/8-mile Hinds. But with or without Acclamation, All Saint is the horse to catch in the derby.

A front-runner, All Saint led wire to wire Sept. 11 in the $50,000 Jim Kostoff Stakes at seven furlongs. The fast time (1:22.92) produced a Beyer Speed Figure of 92, and if he stretches his speed three turns All Saint could be gone. He has won 3 of 13, including a mile maiden race last fall.

Other front-runners in the Pomona Derby field include Faraday, Del Conte, and Arcodoro. It is not a strong group. Quindici Man has faced better all summer and will be finishing. The field also includes Jazzandthemagician, Action in May, Singer Island, Premiere Flyer, and Dover Street Art.

Sise continues on streak

The hot streak by trainer Cliff Sise continued into race 5 Wednesday, when first-time starter My Gal Candy ($12.60) gave Sise his seventh consecutive victory at Fairplex Park.

Sise had a good idea before the meet started that he was well-positioned and even told friends he thought he could have a huge day on Sept. 12.

"I predicted I would win seven that day," he said. Sise was wrong however, because he ended up with only four starters. All won, including E.B. Johnston Stakes winner Smooth Performer.

Sise-trained Lucks Mine was the 2-1 favorite Thursday in race 4 as he tried to give Sise eight straight. The trainer believes his previous highest win streak was four.

Dash Dot Dash slightly injured

Dash Dot Dash, who would have been strongly favored Friday in the $50,000 Palomares Stakes, was scratched when she sustained a cut over her eye. The superficial injury was minor, trainer Vladimir Cerin said. But she had to be tranquilized to be stitched.

"You can run with stitches, but you cannot run [soon] after being tranquilized," Cerin said. "They had to tranquilize her to give her six stitches."

Talk about bad timing. Cerin said Dash Dot Dash probably would work this weekend at Santa Anita, but is now on the vet's list and ineligible to run for two weeks. Dash Dot Dash is 3 for 10 and won two stakes during the 2008 Los Angeles County Fair meet.

Top figure off claim

Lits'goodlookgray earned the highest Beyer Figure of the 2009 Fairplex meet on Wednesday, when his 1 3/4-length victory in the $50,000 Governor's Cup Handicap produced a 98 Beyer.

Lit'sgoodlookngray ($15.60) won the 6 1/2-furlong race in a quick 1:16.68. It was his first start since being claimed by trainer Bob Hess for $50,000 at Del Mar. The favorite Big Bad Leroybrown finished second. Usurp set the pace and tired to third.