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Aug 17, 2012

Acclamation unable to defend Pacific Classic


Del Mar, CA (Sports Network) - Nominations for next week's $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar closed Thursday. And while the nominations won't be revealed until Friday there will be one notable exception among the list.

Acclamation, winner of the 2011 Pacific Classic, will not be able to defend his crown in the 1 1/4 mile race on Sunday, Aug. 26. The six-year-old came out of a Monday gallop with swelling in the area of his left front ankle.

It has been determined to be a "mild strain" of a ligament in the area of the left front pastern.

"It's not serious. It's not career-ending, at least we don't think so right now," owner E.W. 'Bud' Johnston said Thursday morning. "But it's something that makes it impossible to train on it for a short period of time at least.

"We've been very fortunate with him and we were really looking forward to the race. But we're hoping that maybe we can meet those guys (Pacific Classic rivals) in the Breeders' Cup."

Voted the Eclipse Award as 2011 champion older male thoroughbred, Acclamation opened 2012 by winning the Charlie Whittingham on June 12 at Hollywood Park for the third straight time. On July 21, he notch his second straight win in the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar, for a seventh consecutive victory.

Trained by Don Warren, the champion has earned $2 million in 30 career starts with 11 wins. His only non-turf victory was the Pacific Classic.

"I'm sorry for Del Mar," Johnston said. "He's a very popular horse and he would have brought interest to the race and some people to the grandstand. And it's just nice to have those kinds of horses in a race.

"We have to keep a close watch, and he'll tell us when he's ready. We can't say one way or the other, but he's not lame or anything, he's acting fine this morning, and I think he'll be back."

Acclamation's seven race win streak began with last year's Jim Murray followed by the Whittingham, Eddie Read, Pacific Classic and Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship.

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