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Acclamation Seeks Hollywood Turnaround

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park

Hoping to re-establish his “horse for course” reputation on the Hollywood Park turf, Acclamation seeks to repeat his 2010 victory in the $150,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap Saturday. The Murray is a Grade II at 1 ½ miles.


“He just gets a hold of this turf course,” said trainer Don Warren Sunday from his Santa Anita headquarters of the 5-year-old horse who ended an 11-race losing streak with a 7 ½-length wire-to-wire victory in the Jim Murray last year and returned with another front-running score in the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap.


Acclamation, a homebred owned by Bud and Judy Johnston’s Old English Rancho, has been winless in four starts since the Whittingham and hopes to get untracked again here, where he has recorded three victories and two thirds in six starts. He has won once in 17 outings at other tracks.


Acclamation returns from a distant 10th-place finish in the $1-million Charles Town Classic in West Virginia April 16. “There was mud and rain and trouble on the first turn,” said Warren of the race. “Nothing went right.”


Warren shipped the California-bred son of Unusual Heat to Hollywood Park Thursday for a seven-furlong turf work in 1:29. “He went slow in the first part, finished strong and galloped out strong,” said Warren. “They got him for seven-eighths, but he worked a mile.”


Joel Rosario, leading rider at the meet, will replace Christian Santiago Reyes, who had been aboard in his last six starts. “He’s doing as well as ever,” said Warren, hoping Acclamation again displays his penchant for the Hollywood Park grass.


Acclamation will try to join On The Acorn, who won in 2007 and 2008, as the only repeat winner of the Jim Murray, named for the legendary sports columnist of the Los Angeles Times. On The Acorn won with two different jockeys.


Other probable starters include California Cup Classic winner Soul Candy (Rafael Bejarano), Buenos Dias (Brice Blanc) and Restless Soul (Joe Talamo).


Restless Soul, a 7-year-old English-bred mare, seeks to become the first female to win the Jim Murray in its 21-year history. She finished third in the Santa Barbara Handicap on the Santa Anita turf in her last outing for trainer Neil Drysdale.


Possibles include All Saint, Falcon Rock, Haimish Hy and Power Series.

 

 

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