01/14/2010 1:00AM

Acclamation to test the surface

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ARCADIA, Calif. - A string of five consecutive stakes appearances ends for Acclamation when the 4-year-old colt starts in an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Friday.

Trainer Don Warren says Friday's race will test Acclamation on Santa Anita's synthetic main track and could lead to a start in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic for California-breds and Florida-breds here on Jan. 30.

"That's the whole idea of an allowance race, to see if he likes the synthetic track," Warren said. "He worked on it the other day, and he looked wonderful breezing. The rider says that he handled it beautifully. No worries so far."

Owned by breeders Bud and Judy Johnston, Acclamation has won 2 of 12 starts and $199,560 and has kept outstanding company in recent months. He was third in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, Grade 1 Hollywood Derby, and Grade 2 San Gabriel Handicap last year. Acclamation's last win was a one-mile allowance race on turf at Del Mar last August.

Warren said he is skipping Saturday's San Fernando Stakes for 4-year-olds on the main track because he doesn't want to give Acclamation "a real tough race" before the Sunshine Millions.

Warren left open the possibility that he could withdraw Acclamation and wait for the Sunshine Millions.

"Right now, we're planning to run," he said.

Differentkindagreat will make his first start at 1 1/16 miles after racing in four sprints.

"He runs like he wants to stretch out," trainer Dan Hendricks said.

Stella Mark, the winner of the Tiznow Stakes at Hollywood Park in 2008, will make his second start for trainer Vladimir Cerin following a seventh-place finish in a similar race Dec. 30.

The race drew a field of 11, including four who won their last race - Atticus Jack, Oliver, Red Sun, and Universal Peace.

Trainer Carla Gaines said on Wednesday that she plans to withdraw Red Sun, who has won his last two starts.