05/15/2010 12:00AM

No one can catch Acclamation in Murray


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Acclamation had the easiest race of his career in Saturday's $150,000 at Hollywood Park, and the most important victory of his career.

Allowed to set an easy pace in the first half of the Grade 2 race over 1 1/2 miles on turf, Acclamation ($31) was never challenged and held his advantage to win by 7 1/2 lengths, the first stakes win in his 18th career start.

The stakes win occurred in Acclamation's 10th race at the stakes level. He was second in the Ralph Hinds Pomona Invitational last September and third in four other stakes last year and earlier this year, including the Grade 2 Strub at Santa Anita in February.

But the Murray was Acclamation's first start over 1 1/2 miles on turf, and the longer distance was never an issue. Ridden by Christian Santiago Reyes, Acclamation set a slow pace of 24.81 and 49.43 seconds, leading by as many as 10 lengths. The lead dwindled to five lengths on the final turn, but as soon as it appeared the chasing pack would pose a threat, Acclamation continued his run. He finished in 2:26.59.

Winning trainer Donald Warren said Reyes was informed to go as slow as possible and not strike Acclamation with the whip.

"I thought this was a good place to try him," Warren said. "I thought he had a chance to keep going and he certainly did."

Falcon Rock finished second, a neck in front of Rendezvous, who finished a neck in front of 2-1 favorite Scintillo. After the race, Scintillo was pulled up and was reported by track stewards to be "weak behind." He was vanned off.

Jockey Joe Talamo rode Falcon Rock. He said he thought he could catch Acclamation in the final quarter-mile.

"I had a great trip," he said. "The winner just had easy fractions. It didn't seem like there was too much speed in there."

Acclamation races for breeders Bud and Judy Johnston. A 4-year-old colt by Unusual Heat, Acclamation has won 3 of 18 starts and $347,048. The Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap over 1 1/4 miles on turf on June 5 may be Acclamation's next start, Bud Johnston said.