Hilvers’ and Johnston’s Acclamation, a distance-loving California-bred son of Unusual Heat, took command in the opening strides and never was seriously threatened in scoring a wire-to-wire victory in today’s 38th running of the Grade I $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes.
Under masterful rating by Joel Rosario, Del Mar’s leading rider last summer, Acclamation dashed away at the top of the stretch, breezing to the wire 3 ¼ lengths in front of a game runner-up, Jeranimo, with 3-2 favored Caracortado nosing out eastern invader Smart Bid for third.
Acclamation, sixth behind The Usual Q.T. in the Read Stakes a year ago, went postward third choice at 3-1 and returned $8.40, $4 and $3 while earning $180,000 with his seventh victory in 27 starts. The Don Warren-trained runner, top-weighted at 123 pounds, has accumulated a bankroll of $938,048. He was timed in 1:46.99 for the nine furlongs on the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course, stepping the final three-eighths in 34.78 seconds.
Jeranimo, piloted by Garrett Gomez, paid $5 and $3.40, while Caracortado, under Joe Talamo, returned $2.40 to show.
It was the second straight year that an offspring of Unusual Heat won the Eddie Read as the 2010 winner The Usual Q.T. also is a son of that successful stallion.
Acclamation was an entrant in the closing-day Sunset Handicap, but was withdrawn in favor competing in the Read.
After the race, breeder and co-owner E.W. (Bud) Johnston said Acclamation now will be pointed toward the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap at a mile and three-eighths on grass Sunday, August 28, also the day of the $1 million Pacific Classic.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club inaugurated a head-to-head wager in the Read Stakes, matching Acclamation versus Caracortado. That wager produced a $4.80 payoff on Acclamation with a pool of $31,413.
In a supporting feature on the afternoon’s ten-race program, Irish-bred Andina scored a head victory over Wild Mia in the $91,640 Osunitas Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile and one-sisteenth on the grass course. City to City was only another nose back in third place.
Gomez was aboard Andina who paid $8.40 after running the distance in 1:42.07 for her fourth victory in 15 races. Victory was worth $54,984 to owner Arnold Zetcher.
Today’s attendance was 23,278.