08/02/2012 4:25PM

Del Mar notes: Acclamation breezes on turf for Pacific Classic

Benoit & Associates
Acclamation, with Patrick Valenzuela riding, wins the Eddie Read.

DEL MAR, Calif. – In his first serious exercise since winning the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on July 21, Acclamation breezed five furlongs on turf in 1:02.80 at Del Mar on Thursday. It was not a hectic day for the champion older male of 2011.

Acclamation traveled with minimal effort under exercise rider Fernando Valenzuela, the 6-year-old horse’s first workout in the buildup to a defense of his title in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 26.

“He went around really easily,” trainer Don Warren said. “I just wanted him to stretch his legs. He’s been feeling good. It was time to do something.”

Warren said that Acclamation will have one more workout on turf and two more on the Polytrack synthetic surface in advance of the Pacific Classic.

Owned by breeder Bud Johnston and partners, Acclamation is a leading contender for the Pacific Classic, run over 1 1/4 miles. The likely favorite for the race is Game On Dude, the winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup last month.

Thursday, Warren also worked Norvsky, the winner of the California Dreamin’ Handicap on July 22. He worked five furlongs on 1:03.80 and is a candidate for the $200,000 Del Mar Mile on Aug. 26.

Kripke in tough maiden slot

Kripke, a colt by Majestic Warriora purchased for $135,000 by owner Paul Reddam at the Barretts May sale, starts in arguably the tougher of the two maiden races for open company on Saturday.

Kripke, trained by Doug O'Neill,  must beat the quick Distinctiv Passion and the well-regarded first-time starter Capo Bastone.

Distinctiv Passion, trained by Jeff Bonde, worked a half-mile in 45.40 seconds from the gate on July 29.

“He’s a very quick horse,” Bonde said. “I don’t know that he’ll be a route horse, but he’ll be a good sprinter.”

Capo Bastone, purchased for $175,000 at the Ocala Breeders Sale Co.’s auction of 2-year-olds in training in March, has impressed trainer John Sadler.

Gomez rides the colt, by Street Boss, who worked 59.40 seconds from the gate last Monday.

Sadler said the quick workout was easy for Cape Bastone. “After the workout, he couldn’t blow out a match,” he said. “He hasn’t done anything wrong.”

In the first open maiden race, Rolling Fog, a colt by Posse, makes his career debut for trainer Bob Baffert. Owned by Arnold Zetcher, Rolling Fog has worked quickly for his debut, including five furlongs in 58.80 seconds on July 28.

Strong Wind sticking with statebreds

Strong Wind won the $100,000 Graduation Stakes for 2-year-old California-breds on Wednesday and will remain in that division this summer.

Trained by Steve Knapp, Strong Wind is expected to make his next start in the $150,000 I’m Smokin Stakes over six furlongs on Sept. 3.

Ridden by Kevin Krigger, Strong Wind ($8) led or disputed the pace throughout, and pulled away from four rivals in the stretch to win the Graduation over 5 1/2 furlongs by 4 1/4 lengths over Just Call Me Al.

Krigger, who won his first stakes at Del Mar on Strong Wind, said on Thursday that the colt may be adaptable to two turns.

“I think he’ll be pretty versatile,” Krigger said. “I think he’ll go farther the more he learns.”

◗ Jockey Martin Garcia has appealed a three-day suspension that was scheduled to begin on Friday. Garcia will continue to ride, and is booked on leading contender Switch in Saturday’s Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Stakes.