Updated on 09/10/2012 2:23PM

Santa Anita: Acclamation resumes training with an eye to the Breeders' Cup

Shigeki Kikkawa
Acclamation has been sidelined since August with a strained ligament.

ARCADIA, California – Acclamation resumed training Saturday morning at Santa Anita, with an outside chance he could still make the Breeders’ Cup. But time is not on his side.

“There’s still a chance he could run in the Breeders’ Cup,” trainer Don Warren said Friday. “Everything would have to go perfect.”

Fortunately, everything has gone well the past month for Acclamation as he recovers from a strained ligament that knocked him from training in August and prevented an attempted repeat in the Pacific Classic. The injury was at the back of his left pastern.

“The leg looks real good, we’ll just jog him for a week and see how it goes,” Warren said. Acclamation won five consecutive graded stakes in 2011 and was voted the Eclipse Award as champion older male. Both starts in 2012 were Grade 1 victories that extended his win streak to seven. Overall, the 6-year-old California-bred son of Unusual Heat has won 11 races and $1,959,048 from 30 starts.

Prior to the setback, owner-breeder Buddy Johnston paid a $50,000 nomination fee that made Acclamation eligible to the Breeders’ Cup.

“That’s where we’re headed,” Johnston said Friday. “We’re going to jog him four or five days to make sure he’s all right, but he sure looks 100 percent.”

Johnston is hopeful the injury was sufficiently minor that a quick return to training is possible. “He’s a marvelous horse to train, and he hasn’t been out of training that long, so I think we can make it,” Johnston said, referring to the Breeders’ Cup. “It only looked bad for about a week, just a little tiny bit of swelling.”

The Breeders’ Cup races will be held Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita, and the interruption to Acclamation’s campaign offers a short window to prepare. Acclamation would go into the Breeders’ Cup without benefit of a prep race. His most recent start was July 21.

Although the win streak by Acclamation has been on turf and synthetic, Johnston did not rule out the BC Classic on dirt. “We’ll decide [what race] when we get further along, maybe work him at Santa Anita over the dirt and see how he handles it.”

Whether or not Acclamation races this fall, Johnston left open the possibility of a 2013 campaign at age 7.

“I really hadn’t planned on racing him next year. I thought if he was going to go to stud duty, he probably should go at the end of his 6-year-old year,” Johnston said. “But, plans change. If I don’t sell him, you might see him [next year].”

Crickett Hoffman More than 1 year ago
I don't think the Classic is his race. He should go for one of the turf races. He's bred for it.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
The BC Turf is the only real option. The Turf, with its slower pace, will be alot easier on the horse. And Acclamation has proven that if he can get 24 and 48s, he'll keep running as long as needed. In the Classic he will have to go 23, 46 or 47, 110 or 111 early. Oh, and he's much better on turf than dirt.
AZ Wildcat More than 1 year ago
The one thing I don't worry about is whether the trainer and owners will do right by this horse. They have proven time and again that they will do what they have to do to have him healthy and ready and if he isn't they won't. He really is a cool horse who has gotten better with age and he tries every single time and I don't have anything negative to say about his connections. In fact there are a whole lot of horsemen who could learn from them.
Steven More than 1 year ago
Want to know what race to go in Mr. Johnston? Run Oct 13th in the Cal Cup at a 1 1/8 on dirt and you will have your answer. If you are not ready for that you will not be ready for Nov 3 at 1 1/4 on dirt or 1 1/2 on turf.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Very good point! Hope they listen...