Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, Acclamation led throughout and defeated Interaction (ARG), winner of the Group 1 Carlos Pellegrini Stakes in Argentina in 2009, by 2 ¾ lengths. He covered the 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.86.
“I’m going to say this now and I mean it: he’s a great horse,” said Valenzuela. “I’ve been lucky enough to ride some very good horses, champions, like Sunday Silence and Arazi and Best Pal. And this horse is right there with them. No doubt about it. He fits. Any horse that runs the way he does, making all the pace himself, then comes home the way he did (last three eighths in :34.29) is a really good horse.
“He knows what he’s doing out there,” he added. “He knew that other horse (Slim Shadey) came up near us before I did. He pinned his ears and said ‘It’s time to go.’ This horse does it all. On turf. On dirt. On Polytrack. He can do it all. He is just amazing.”
Acclamation, owned and bred by Bud Johnston, has now won seven straight stakes, including five Grade 1 events for trainer Don Warren.
“I think he is the best turf horse in the country at a mile and an eighth or more, don’t you? Has anybody beaten him at it yet? Until they do, he’s the best turf horse in the country,” Warren said.. “He’s just developed into a wonderful, wonderful horse.”
“P. Val is always going to let ‘em run out of there,” said Warren. “We thought maybe Slim Shadey might want to take the lead away from us and we were prepared if they were going to do that. But P. Val used good judgment, got the quarter in :24 and the half in :49. At that point, I thought that unless there was something seriously wrong he was going to win. He goes that slow for a half-mile, then he starts picking it up and he loses them in his wake.
Pacific Classic? “We’ll be looking at it,” he added.
Acclamation has won 11 of 30 starts and $1,958,048.