TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC | PURSE: $1,000,000 | GRADE: 1 | 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP | 1 1/4 MILES
DEL MAR, Calif. -- Already proven on turf, Acclamation added California's richest race for older horses to his list of accomplishments with a front-running win in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, Acclamation ($10.80) held off a late threat from 2-1 favorite Twirling Candy to win by a head. Acclamation ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:00.61, a track record for the Polytrack synthetic surface.
The win was Acclamation's first start on a synthetic track this year. Earlier in the season, he won the Grade 2 Jim Murray and Grade 1 Charles Whittingham handicaps at Hollywood Park and the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar on July 23, all on grass.
In the Pacific Classic, Acclamation set fractions of 24.57 and 48.65 seconds for the first half-mile, pursued by Game On Dude, who was a length behind and racing just to the outside. On the final turn, Twirling Candy reached contention with a three-wide move, but then Twirling Candy began to lose ground on the leader. In the final furlong, Acclamation maintained his lead to preserve the win.
Twirling Candy finished four lengths clear of Kentucky invader Stately Victor, who was followed by Game On Dude, Quindici Man, Tres Borrachos, Don Cavallo, Jeranimo, and Setsuko.
Acclamation, a 5-year-old horse by Unusual Heat, has won 8 of 27 starts and $1,538,048 for a partnership that includes breeders Bud and Judy Johnston and trainer Don Warren.