05/16/2010 11:00PM

Acclamation staying long on turf


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Acclamation's first stakes win in Saturday's Grade 2 Jim Murray Handicap may define the rest of his career.

Acclamation made his first start over 1 1/2 miles on turf in the Murray and took to the new distance easily, leading throughout and winning by 7 1/2 lengths. Jockey Christian Santiago Reyes was under strict instructions not to strike Acclamation with his whip. It was not a factor. The other runners never posed a threat.

"I told the jock, 'Don't cock your stick,' " trainer Don Warren said. "You can slap him, but don't beat on him.' We feel he's already putting out his best effort."

Acclamation, a 4-year-old California-bred colt by Unusual Heat, made his 10th stakes start in the Murray. Owned by breeders Bud and Judy Johnston, Acclamation has won 3 of 18 starts and $347,048. Sticking with longer races in the short-term future, Acclamation is likely to return in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap over 1 1/4 miles on turf here June 5.

Reyes, the champion apprentice jockey of 2009, begins riding as a journeyman Wednesday. Reyes's final day of eligibility as an apprentice was Tuesday, a day without racing in Southern California.

Through Sunday, Reyes, 20, was fourth in the standings with 10 victories, trailing leader Rafael Bejarano by 20 wins.

Handle down 8 percent at meeting

Hollywood Park is down approximately 8 percent in all-sources handle for the first four weeks of the spring-summer meeting, which is near preseason projections, according to track president Jack Liebau.

"We're probably down 8 percent in all-sources handle," he said. "On a national basis, that's not bad. It's not acceptable, but it's not bad. We're doing better than we've projected in terms of the purse pool."

Liebau said he was encouraged by field sizes in the first month of the meeting, which through Sunday, the 18th day of the meeting, had averaged 7.89 horses per race. During a similar span last year, the meeting averaged 7.52 starters per race. Because of difficulty in filling races during the 2009 spring-summer meeting, the track reduced its racing schedule from five days a week to four days a week, resulting in the elimination of nine Wednesday programs from late May through mid-July. For the entire 2009 spring summer meeting, fields averaged 7.94 starters per race.

"I've been happy that we've filled our races as well as we have," Liebau said "I entered the meeting with a certain amount of trepidation that [racing secretary] Martin [Panza] would be able to put cards together on a regular basis."

The track did not draw as many entries as hoped for eight-race cards on Wednesday and Thursday this week. There are 63 horses entered for Wednesday, and 60 for Thursday, which will bring down the average for the meeting.

Made for Magic will avoid Zenyatta

The upset win by Made for Magic in Sunday's Grade 2 Milady Handicap, the first graded stakes win for the former $16,000 claimer, did not inspire trainer A.C. Avila to suggest the $250,000 Vanity Handicap on June 13 as a next-race goal.

With Zenyatta expected to head the Vanity field, Avila is anxious to try another spot.

"I don't want to see the big girl again," he said. "I'll watch her from over here [in the stands] and applaud."

Made for Magic raced against Zenyatta earlier this year, finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita.

Track-record trifecta payout

An upset win by Fortunate Victory ($70.60) in Saturday's seventh race resulted in a record $1 trifecta payoff of $78,703.90 at Hollywood Park.

Fortunate Victory, who beat maidens in his 30th start, outfinished 33-1 Outrageous Fortune and 42-1 Souvenir Summer. The previous record of $35,563 was set in May 2007.