It was déjà vu at Del Mar for trainer Don Warren this weekend. For the second year in a row, Warren saddled Acclamation to victory in the grade I Eddie Read and Norvsky for the win in the California Dreamin’ Handicap.
Odds-on favorite Acclamation (left) impressed Saturday against a short field of 4 rivals, leading from start to finish and doing so easily. Argentine-bred longshot Interaction made things a little interesting in mid-stretch, but was no match for the winner. It was Acclamation’s seventh consecutive graded stakes victory and second Eddie Read in a row. Warren says he is pointing toward another repeat- this time in the Pacific Classic on the Polytrack on August 26- but the Del Mar Handicap on turf remains an option. The Classic figures to be a rematch with Bob Baffert-trainee Game on Dude, and Baffert’s Richard’s Kid will also likely look to duplicate his 2009-2010 Pacific Classic victories.
Trainer Bob Baffert also had a good day, with 2010 Norfolk victor Jaycito returning to the winner’s circle in an allowance/optional claiming race, and 2012 Las Virgines winner Eden’s Moon (right) taking the grade II San Clemente in her first try on the grass. This Wednesday Baffert will look to continue his winning ways as Midnight Interlude will make his first start after a nine month layoff in the Wickerr Stakes.
Sunday Norvsky completed Warren’s winning weekend by taking the California Dreamin’, getting up in the final strides to win by a half-length. Norvsky had won only two of nine races in the year since his first California Dreamin’ victory, but he was on his game today to defeat Brushburn and Leaving New York in an exciting finish.