07/22/2012 3:02PM

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

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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.”

David Ramirez More than 1 year ago
Acclamation should stay on grass and run in the Del Mar Handicap at 1 and 3/8th on August 25th.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want him to stay on the grass then screw the Del mar Handicap. That race is beneath him to say the least. How about they scrap the 5 horse Pacific Classic and Acclamation goes in the ARLINGTON MILLION or at least the Sword Dancer and Game On Dude and Richards Kid run in the Whitney and/or Woodward. It would be better for racing.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
Better for racing... are you kidding me.........it needs to be what is best for the man who pays the bills , his owner..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That's exactly what way too many owners think. Selfish owners are a big part of what's wrong with racing. Scared to lose, would rather pick up an easy paycheck then whisk em off into retirement to try to make more money off of em. Big races with all the best are what we like to see. Instead we get them all spread out trying to figure out the easiest way to make $$$
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Anonymous - I totally hear you but do let me know when you buy a horse and start losing money even before you run your first race. Most owners aren't billionaires you know?
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Get a clue . Acclamation's owners /breeders run one of the biggest stallion ranchos in the state. The Johnston's have been breeding in California for 75 yrs. Acclamation will be nearing 7yrs old when he retires. Not exactly whisking him away mousy .
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
No, it's not a two-horse race if Baffert decides to send both Game on Dude and Richard's Kid in the Pac Classic. It's a three-horse race as of today and it's not going to be heavily favored on Game on Dude as in the past. The three will be competitive this time around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm worried about it being a 3 horse race literally. Who's going to challenge those 3? Hopefully somebody comes from the East but Im sure they're all pointing to races like the Arlington Million, Whitney and Woodward. The Pacific Classic will be a 6 horse or less race.