08/09/2012 3:43PM

Del Mar: Acclamation puts in sharp workout

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Acclamation is being pointed to a defense of his title in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic.

Acclamation, the defending champion in the Pacific Classic, turned in another sharp workout Thursday morning at Del Mar, when he went six furlongs on turf in 1:11.20, around orange cones, known as dogs.

Bud Johnston, who bred Acclamation and owns him in a partnership, reiterated that the Grade 1, $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 26 at 1 1/4 miles on Polytrack remains his first choice, but he is keeping the Grade 2, $200,000 Del Mar Handicap at 1 3/8 miles on turf on Aug. 25 as a backup plan.

“My concern is the Polytrack when it gets real warm, and it’s been warm here lately,” Johnston said. “I hope the heat breaks. So far, they’ve done a real good job watering the track. The only way you can keep the wax from breaking down is watering. They’re doing it overnight, which is smart, because the water percolates rather than evaporates.”

As for the workout Thursday, Johnston called it “terrific.”

“Eleven and change around there, that’s insane,” he said. “He’s sure good right now.”

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Acclamation, last year’s Eclipse Award-winning older horse, has won seven straight races, five of which were Grade 1. He’s 2 for 2 this year.

“I think he’s got a shot at Horse of the Year, if all goes well,” Johnston said.

Also working Thursday for Johnston and trainer Don Warren was Norvsky, winner of the California Dreamin’ Handicap on July 22. He was timed in 1:15 for six furlongs on turf. Johnston said he could make his next start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Del Mar Mile on turf Aug. 26.