07/22/2012 3:02PM

Del Mar: Acclamation vs. Game On Dude rematch looms in Pacific Classic

Shigeki Kikkawa
Patrick Valenzuela celebrates aboard Acclamation after winning the Grade 1 Eddie Read at Del Mar on Saturday.

DEL MAR, Calif. - There is a strong likelihood of a rematch between top older horses Acclamation and Game On Dude in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 25.

Acclamation extended his winning streak to seven races, all graded stakes, in Saturday’s Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on turf, a race he won in 2011 as a prep to a winning performance in the Pacific Classic.

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Sunday morning, trainer Don Warren said that Acclamation emerged from the Eddie Read in outstanding condition and ate “a half of bag of carrots.”

Saturday, Game On Dude, the winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 7, worked a half-mile in 47.80 seconds on Del Mar’s Polytrack synthetic surface. Fourth in the 2011 Pacific Classic, Game On Dude’s workout left trainer Bob Baffert impressed.

“He worked lights out,” Baffert said.

After the Gold Cup win, Baffert said he wanted to see how Game On Dude worked at Del Mar before committing the 5-year-old gelding to the Pacific Classic. As of Sunday, a start in that race was highly likely, “if he keeps working like he did,” Baffert said.

Acclamation, 6, has won 11 of 30 starts and $1,958,048 and was the champion older male of 2011. Owned by a partnership led by Bud Johnston, Acclamation is being pointed for the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, and is likely to start in the BC Turf that day. The Breeders’ Cup will probably be Acclamation’s last start, Warren said on Sunday.
Earlier this month, Acclamation was nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program for $50,000.

In the Eddie Read, Acclamation took his customary position at the front of the field, shook off a challenge from Slim Shadey on the backstretch and pulled away to win by 2 3/4 lengths over the South American Group 1 winner Interaction. Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, Acclamation ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.86, running the final three furlongs in 34.29 and the last furlong in 11.41 seconds.

“That’s the way he runs,” Warren said. “He sets his own pace. The others track him and chase him, and they look like they’re getting ready to pounce and he breaks loose at the three-eighths pole. It takes the starch out of them.”

The break between the Read and the Pacific Classic is ideal for Acclamation, Warren said.

“You’ve got to give them 30 days or five weeks,” Warren said. “They give it all when they run. The timing is perfect.”