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Del Mar: Acclamation out of Pacific Classic
DEL MAR, Calif. – Acclamation, the champion older male of 2011, is expected to miss the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 26 because of inflammation below an ankle, owner Bud Johnston said on Wednesday.
The injury was diagnosed earlier this week, Johnston said. Acclamation won the 2011 Pacific Classic as part of a campaign that led to his Eclipse Award.
“I think it’s a 90 percent chance we’re out of the Classic,” Johnston said on Wednesday. “I don’t want to take a chance on it.
Wednesday, Acclamation underwent a scan on the affected leg, which revealed “no tears or holes,” Johnston said.
The 6-year-old was scheduled to have a workout on Thursday in advance of the Pacific Classic where he was expected to be the first or second betting choice behind Game On Dude, the winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup last month.
Johnston said that he and trainer Don Warren will take a cautious approach toward Acclamation’s campaign.
“He’s too good of a horse,” Johnston said. “I’ve got to worry about him. I can’t worry about the races. He isn’t seriously injured, but it’s enough that we won’t make the Classic.”
Acclamation is unbeaten in his last seven starts, all stakes, including the 2011 Pacific Classic. Acclamation, 6, has won 11 of 30 starts and $1,958,048. The winning streak includes five Grade 1 races.
Last fall, Acclamation missed a start in the Breeders’ Cup races at Churchill Downs when he suffered a bruised foot following a victory in the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita.
Earlier this year, Acclamation was scratched from the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park in April after Warren said he was not pleased with the way the horse had cooled out two days before the race. Subsequent tests revealed no injury.
I just hope he makes the Breeders Cup.
Seriously?? Clearly these horses are being directed in a way that prevents them from participating in the races fans hope to see them in. Maybe we need to examine more closely the frequent injury issues that seem to occur with a number of thoroughbred horses in the racing industry.
Donald Warren is an Underrated trainer. He has done wonders with Calbreds for years. His horses always look good on the track.
Excuse as usual, they havent face a decent horse in 2 yrs. Go back to 5 horse field against nothing. Acclamation is the US version of Frankel.
In an era where the so called top trainers on east and west coasts are injecting knees,fetlocks,hocks and stifles as a pre-race routine and drowning them in clenbuterol post race to "clear up their lungs", I give these guys so much respect for this move. No wonder they have been able to keep him running at 6 years old at such a high level.
A big loss to the race for sure, but as much as I like him, I wasn't terribly confident in his chances of winning this again. I would have been routing for him though. I hope we see him many times again, but I have a feeling it will always be on the turf.
I think the point made by jordan is right on. The horses this year that Acclaimation have beaten are no where as good as the ones he beat last year. They are picking his spots very carefully to a certain degree without fault. I think that even Game on Dude who is the strongest West coast horse right now would not do very well against the rest of the nations top older horses.
I'm so glad I don't have to bet the crap that goes on in Cali. Dutrow is an angel compared to the trainers out there. These top horses out there can't stay sound.Other than Del Mar,Cali racing is the biggest joke in the world
The popular thinking is going to be that Acclamation's defection makes Game on Dude a huge favorite in the Pacific Classic, given he should be able to carve out an easier lead. The first part is true, but I still don't think Game on Dude will have things his way up front. With Rail Trip, John Scott, and Where's Sterling( I expect him to be more forwardly placed than he is in mile dirt races) in the field, Game on Dude should be kept occupied early in the Pac Classic. And with Polytrack not being Game on Dude's favorite surface, I still like Richard's Kid. Richard's Kid really made Game on Dude work over a Cushion Track surface the Dude has run 3 bang-up races over. Moving to Del mar, Game on Dude gets a surface he is much less effective over while Richard gets his absolute favorite surface. I'm betting the surface advantage for Richard is larger than than the length and change difference in the Hollywood Gold Cup.
Things just haven't been as smooth this year for Acclamation as last year. First, there was the earlier injury scare, actually a retirement scare, as Warren tried to find out why the horse seemed off. However, not only did Acclamation ultimately make it back to the track, he won 2 more grade 1 races to extend his winning streak to 7(5 grade 1s) and pushed his career grade 1 total to 6(behind only Lava Man, Curlin, and Gio Ponti among North American males this century). Yet, as someone that has been on track for all 7 of Acclamation's races in this streak, I didn't feel he was as dominant as he was last year. In last year's Whittingham and Read, he was so powerful and explosive, crushing very good fields. While Acclamation repeated in those races this year, he just didn't present as impressive a physical appearance, and he defeated worse fields by smaller margins. Then, there is the drifting. Acclamation has had a tendency in his career to drift, but it was more pronounced in the Whittingham and then severe in the Read. I didn't take that as a good sign. Hopefully, this remains just a minor issue and he can resume his path towards a Breeder's Cup. And at this point in his career, as a 6 year old, it might not be the worst thing that he is kept on his preferred surface, turf. When Acclamation won the Pacific Classic last year, it took a maximum effort and he won by just a head. Most likely, Acclamation would have needed a similar effort to win the race this year, and like I mentioned above, I just don't think he's as good right now. As a fan of Acclamation and someone who wanted to see the best possible field for the Pacific Classic, this is certainly disappointing news. But I can't say the news shocked me.
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