Acclamation will face four rivals in Saturday’s 39th
running of the Eddie Read Stakes. The Read is the first graded stakes
and first of seven Grade I events of the meeting. The 1 1/8 mile event
generally determines the top grass horse of the season.
Acclamation was a 3 3/4-length winner of last year’s Read under
jockey Joel Rosario in 1:46.99 for the distance while toting 123 pounds.
Acclamation drew the No. 3 post and is high-weighted at 123 pounds for
his title defense. Patrick Valenzuela will ride.
A 6-year-old California-bred owned by Bud and Judy Johnston’s Old
English Rancho and Peter and Mary Hilvers, and trained by Donald Warren,
Acclamation tuned up for the $300,000 Read with a six-furlong workout
in 1:14 2/5 on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course on Monday.
The 2011 Read victory, coupled with one in the TVG Pacific Classic,
secured Horse of the Meeting as well as Older Horse and Grass Horse
divisional titles for Del Mar. At year’s end, Acclamation was voted an
Eclipse Award in the Older Male category.
Acclamation was a wire-to-wire winner of the Grade I Charlie
Whittingham Handicap in his 2012 debut on June 12 at Hollywood Park.
Two other graded stakes winners of 2012 in the field are Casino Host
and Slim Shadey. Casino Host, trained by Ron Ellis for the Gary and Mary
West Stable, won the Grade II Mervin Muniz Jr. Handicap at the Fair
Grounds in April. Slim Shadey, trained by Simon Callaghan for owner Phil
Cunningham, prevailed in the Grade II San Marcos Handicap at Santa
Anita in February.
The Read will go as the third on a 10-race program. The field, with
jockeys and weights, from the rail out: Hog’s Hollow, Rafael Bejarano,
119; Interaction, Brice Blanc, 119; Acclamation, Patrick Valenzuela,
123; Casino Host, Joe Talamo, 121; Slim Shadey, Garrett Gomez, 122.