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Wednesday, December 15
Proud Accolade in blinkers for Hollywood Futurity

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Proud Accolade will race in blinkers for the first time when he goes for the 2-year-old championship in Saturday's Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity at Hollywood Park.

Proud Accolade won the first three starts of his career, including the Champagne Stakes, before his disappointing sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. His two most recent works, including a five-furlong drill here on Sunday, have been in blinkers.

"Todd always thought he still wasn't really focused," Michael "Whitey" McCarthy, the assistant trainer to Todd Pletcher, said Tuesday morning at Hollywood Park. "He was always kind of gawky and looking around. Didn't have his mind on business. Todd decided to do it after the Breeders' Cup, but the thought had always been in the back of his mind."

McCarthy is overseeing Proud Accolade's training while Pletcher vacations in the Caribbean this week. Both Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez are scheduled to fly from New York to California on Saturday morning.

The Hollywood Futurity is shaping up as a battle for an Eclipse Award. Proud Accolade, the unbeaten Declan's Moon, and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Wilko all could claim the title with a victory on Saturday.

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