08/15/2012 2:53PM

Del Mar: Acclamation out of Pacific Classic

Shigeki Kikkawa
Acclamation will miss the $1 million Pacific Classic due to an injury.

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.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just hope he makes the Breeders Cup.
JLynnHaslag More than 1 year ago
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.
David Robinson More than 1 year ago
are you serious? your going to chime in with the conspiracy theory? i suppose elvis shot jfk also before he became the first man on the moon when he went there to hide after he faked his own death? do you not understand horses are not machines? when they get older they get hurt easier and take longer to mend, just like humans. im not arguing there are things that can and should be done to prevent these injuries. such as pushing bac all 2 yr. old racing until after the triple crown is over, outlawing all medications for pain and steroids, and start banning owners as well as trainers after drug infractions. but to suggest that these owners are purposely missing million dollar races just to get under your skin and make you unhappy is about the most idiotic thing ive ever heard.
JLynnHaslag More than 1 year ago
I am suggesting that maybe the horses should not be driven so hard as to cause any sort of injury before a race.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
With Acclamation, we must remember that he is a 6 year old. Go and look at his 3 and 4 year old seasons; he was raced about every 3-4 weeks for a sustained period of about 18 months. And they needed to run him more frequently than they do now because he wasn't making a lot of money per start.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Being by Unusual Heat, why did it take the connection so long to send him long?
k More than 1 year ago
Donald Warren is an Underrated trainer. He has done wonders with Calbreds for years. His horses always look good on the track.
Dan Cronin More than 1 year ago
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.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
You may be the only person who considers a comparison to Frankel an insult. Give those 2 horses credit for scaring away potential competitors. That's clearly happened with Frankel. And it happened in this year's Whittingham and Read for Acclamation. With Bourbon Bay sidelined, the distance turf horses in Cali are a shallow lot. Given this, I was hoping that an Eastern shipper would travel over for the Whittingham. However, while the Whittingham is a grade 1, with a purse of just $250k, horsemen were not enthused at the propspect of facing Acclamation, even though it was his first race in 9 months. And with a solid 2nd choice in Slim Shadey, it didn't make financial sense to ship cross country when the most likely outcome was a 3rd place finish, with 3rd offering paltry prize money. So, in the Whittingham, basically the presence of one elite horse, Acclamation, and another solid grade 1/2 runner, Slim Shadey, scared away most potential challengers and left the Whittingham with a shallow field. Something similar happened in the Read. Most of the good middle distance turf horses in California, horses that were under consideration for the Read, were instead pointed to the Shoemaker Mile, a race without Acclamation. After Acclamation dismantled really good horses like Jeranimo, Caracortado, and Smart Bid in last year's Read, I don't think there were alot of trainers and owners looking to tackle him in a $300k race in which 2nd money is only $60k and 3rd place money is less than a horse could make in an optional claimer at Del Mar. Thus, a weak and shallow field for this year's Read. Acclamation likely wasn't going to scare anyone away from the Pacific Classic, but that's because it is a $1 million race. It's not fair to a horse if we criticize it for beating nothing when it was that horse's presence in the first place that scared others from running, thus creating a weak field.
thomas b More than 1 year ago
Those are two pretty nice horses you are sadly under appreciating. Why don't you go back to your NECKCAR and the left-turn-circuit, since you obviously have no idea what the hell you are talking about in this realm.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
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.
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
this horse isn't a claimer he's a multiple G-1 winner
B More than 1 year ago
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.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Why not? Del Mar polytrack is like turf.
Juan Arrieta More than 1 year ago
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.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
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
AZ Wildcat More than 1 year ago
Yeah Dutrow and Ness are choir boys. Get a grip, you probably bet Easy Goer too...
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Dutrow gets punished for his violations. And he's got one of the lowest breakdown rates. What says you to that ?
Cedric More than 1 year ago
You sound about as smart as door knob. Get a grip and a reality check. Another sanctimonious EAST COAST racing flunky!
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Actually I mostly play the Churchill and Keeneland circuit.
Ultimatehorselover More than 1 year ago
Seriously? Dutrow is worse than all of the Cali-trainers infractions combined...
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Really? Most of Dutrow's infractions are the speeding ticket variety.
JHart More than 1 year ago
Wow...... The connections of this horse do what we all preach they should do when a horse isn't 100% and that's scratch. What should they do? Pump him full of drugs and run him so you can cry like a lil girl? Just shut up and stay on your coast where you belong. You know nothing about racing on the west coast.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Acclamation ould never win a race outside of Cali,so your post is irrelevant.
David Robinson More than 1 year ago
and were all so glad your nowhere near the west coast, the median for intellience is already low enough out here without you dragging it down any further, west coast racing is actually a lot better right now then it was 2 years ago, helped by the return to dirt at santa anita. but you probably wouldnt know that since your probably to busy trying to figure out where to place a bet in the future thanks to a bankrupt nyra. and btw, how many violations did it take before you idiots finally suspended the likes of dutrow and lou pena? christ we knew 10 years ago pena was a crook when he was begging for taco money across the street from sacramento's track. then he goes to the east coast and suddenly hes the next coming of charles whittingham? gee, 2000 violations later you guys figured it out....... great job!!!
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
But at least they suspend trainers over here. Drug O'Neil has 2/3 of the TC and they have to retire the horse because NYRA wasn't going to let a drugged horse win the TC but didn't want to give the industry another black eye by exposing the reason for IHA success
Jordan More than 1 year ago
You picked the wrong West Coast horse to make your point. Acclamation is 6, and has already made 30 starts. This, even though he only made 3 starts at age 2. From 7/2/09(age 3) until 7/24/10(age 4), a period of a year and 3 weeks, Acclamation made 18 starts. That's an average of 1.5 starts per month for an entire year. Then last year at age 5, Acclamation made 7 starts from between 3/5 and 10/2, an average of a race a month for 7 months. And look at some of the other Cali stars, horses like Game on Dude, Richard's Kid, Rail Trip, Amazombie, Bourbon Bay, Jeranimo, Switch, and The Factor. They all have multiple strong seasons to their names.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
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.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Yes, I love Richard's Kid in this race too. Acclamation would have made a better race out of it. I'm sad to see him go, now the price on Richard's Kid will take a hit.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
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.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't consider the 2011 Charlie Wittingham a strong field. The 2010 version was much better.