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
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
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.