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Jul 27, 2012

Acclamation has Pacific Classic on radar


Del Mar, CA (Sports Network) - Last year, Acclamation was the 4-1 third pick in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar, a race he won by setting the pace and defeating Twirling Candy and Stately Victor. This time around the Eclipse Award winner is more than likely to be the favorite in the 1 1/4 mile stakes.

"We'll be looking at the Pacific Classic, just like last year," trainer Don Warren said. "It will all come down to how we feel about the way the meet goes with the Polytrack. If it seems like it's kind to us, if it's kind to the horses, that will play a big part in it.

"I have the option of going (in) the Del Mar Handicap as well if I want to stay on the turf."

Following Saturday's front-running victory in the Eddie Read, for the second straight year, Acclamation is currently on a seven race win streak, which features the Pacific Classic as his only non-turf victory.

The Pacific Classic will be run on Sunday, Aug. 26, the day after the running of the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap, at 1 3/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf course.

"If we get to the Breeders' Cup, we'll have to decide whether to go in the ($5 million Classic) on the dirt or the ($3 million) Turf and take on the Europeans at a mile-and-a half," Warren said.

Unable to run in last year's Breeders' Cup races at Churchill Downs, Acclamation would face racing on real dirt this year at Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Also getting ready for Del Mar's feature event is this year's leading thoroughbred Game On Dude. The five-year-old gelding convincingly won the Hollywood Gold Cup over stablemate Richard's Kid on July 7 and has been atop the NTRA Poll ever since.

Fourth in last year's Pacific Classic, Game On Dude had a half-mile workout at Del Mar Saturday morning in 47.80 seconds for trainer Bob Baffert.

"He went really well on this track," Baffert said Sunday morning. "For some reason, last year he didn't look comfortable on it, but as long as he stays working that way, it's good. We're pointing for it (Pacific Classic) but he'll have to be on his game. As long as he's on his game we'll run."

Baffert also trains two-time Pacific Classic winner (2009-2010) Richard's Kid. The seven-year-old had a five furlong workout in 1:00.80 on Saturday at Del Mar.

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