07/19/2012 4:27PM

Del Mar: Acclamation looks tough to tackle in Eddie Read Stakes

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Acclamation will be a heavy favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – The winning streak stands at six races, all graded stakes, dating back to May 2011.

Acclamation has been unbeatable in California for more than a year, the reason he won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding older male of 2011.

Now 6, Acclamation is expected to add to that list when he starts as a heavy favorite in Saturday’s $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar.

Acclamation has four rivals. A loss would be a shock. He is expected to set the pace and has proven to be almost unbeatable with that style. In the 2011 Read, Acclamation led throughout the race over 1 1/8 miles on turf and won by 3 1/4 lengths.

“When he gets alone on the lead and gets comfortable, he’s hard to beat,” trainer Don Warren said. “If someone wants to get a crazy idea and take the racetrack away from him, we’ll let them.”

Even without the lead, Acclamation can win. He stalked the pace in the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Santa Anita last fall and closed well to win what would be his final start of 2011.

The Grade 1 Read will be Acclamation’s second start of the year, preceded by a one-length win in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 9. The hope for Warren is that Acclamation’s 2012 campaign will stretch well into the fall and include a start in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita in November. He did not start in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs.

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“We’ve just started a little later,” Warren said. “Hopefully, we’ll finish it off this time.”

The victory in the Whittingham left Warren encouraged about Acclamation’s condition.

“I wasn’t really surprised he won,” Warren said. “I thought he was about as ready as you could get them on works alone. They don’t have to be 100 percent. They can be 90 percent.

“He’s done everything I’ve asked of him.”

A winner of 10 of 29 starts and $1,778,048, Acclamation will be ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, his regular rider since last August.

His rivals in the Read include Interaction, winner of the Group 1 Carlos Pellegrini Stakes in Argentina in 2009; Slim Shadey, who won the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita in January; Casino Host, winner of the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz, Jr. Handicap at Fair Grounds in April; and Hog’s Hollow, who was stakes placed earlier this year at Santa Anita.

A second-place finish is worth $60,000 and may be all that is at stake for those four runners.

“If Acclamation goes to the front and gets the fractions he’s been setting, he’ll be hard to beat,” said Simon Callaghan, who trains Slim Shadey. “We’ve got to try something a little different.”

Slim Shadey was second to Acclamation in the Whittingham, but followed with a fifth-place finish after a poor start in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 7.

“I think you can disregard the last race,” Callaghan said. “It was a tough battle when he jumped off.”

Interaction joined trainer Ron McAnally’s stable over the winter and won his California debut in an optional claimer at Hollywood Park on June 16. He won’t have the lead, but could get closer in the stretch.

“I hope Acclamation sets a nice fast pace for him,” McAnally said.

Even that may not be enough.

Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
I hope vaenzuela is sober and the horses he has to beat probably couldnt even win a the fair circuit
Rudy Murrieta More than 1 year ago
His name is Valenzuela.Sober or not Pat can still Ride.Don Warren, comments after her last win " Pat is the best" The other horses would win Stakes @ the Fairs
Saw Mill Worker More than 1 year ago
" Looks tough " what a joke. Only has four (4) horses to beat. What a sad state California racing is in when a $300,000 race draws a field of five (5). An the rest of the card mostly Maiden's and cheap claimers.
samuel gontz More than 1 year ago
i can remember playing this horse at hollywood park at 30/40-1 early when he was just getting started.he went to the lead then too and lasted out front until folding near the top of the stretch.i knew he might turn out to finally be a special one then.i just did"nt figure how special.i won"t tout a horse under 9-1,however "acclamation" seems to be set up nicely for saturday"s run.exotics single on a lot of tickets.?
Jordan More than 1 year ago
It seems clear from Callaghan's comments that Slim Shadey will try to get the early lead or at the very least be right on Acclamation's flank. The connections of Casino Host and Interaction wouldn't mind that. You just never know how a race will unfold. Everyone thought Game on Dude would be able to walk on the lead in the Hollywood Gold Cup and then Spud Spivens, out of nowhere, is sent to the front.
Josh More than 1 year ago
Acclamation is too tough in here, he wins by 3 - 4 lengths. http://handicrapper.blogspot.com/
IRON More than 1 year ago
Go P. Val go
Saw Mill Worker More than 1 year ago
" Fat Pat " gets beat what would you say about that.
Rudy Murrieta More than 1 year ago
"Fat Pat" Will be fatter $ after the Race.
Saw Mill Worker More than 1 year ago
Wow, Josh, you really know horse, huh. He only has to Four ( 4 ) horses to beat an their just a little above good horses very little. An you call yourself a " handicapper " you jest of course.