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Is Acclamation for Sale?

Pacific Classic winner Acclamation went back to the track on Wednesday morning, less than 72 hours after his wire-to-wire victory in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic.

And the feeling of satisfaction over Acclamation’s accomplishments – becoming the first horse in the country to win three Grade I stakes in 2011, the first to win both the Eddie Read Stakes and Pacific Classic, and the sixth California bred to take Del Mar’s signature event – was still palpable in the barn area of trainer Don Warren.

“He went back to the track this morning for a little jog and he looked fine,” Warren said Wednesday morning. “He has been eating good since he ran and we’re happy with what we see so far.”

Warren said he took a day off from work on Tuesday, his  first day off “in awhile,” but was back to business as usual a day later.

“I’ve been concentrating on (Acclamation) so much that I almost forgot I had eight others,” Warren said. “Now I can concentrate on them.” Warren will saddle two maidens on Thursday’s card, both bred at the Old English Rancho of Acclamation co-owners E.W. “Bud” and Judy Johnston. Sentry Duty goes in the first race, Pick Your Battles in the eighth race.

Trainer Bob Baffert said on Monday that he had attempted to buy Acclamation in the weeks leading up to the Pacific Classic, making a $2 million offer that Bud Johnston had turned down. Interested parties have come around the barn in the wake of the Classic, Warren said, and the idea that Acclamation could be sold is not exactly far-fetched.

“Every time he wins, people come around and it’s up to Buddy,” Warren said. “We’ve sold horses all the time over the years. Maybe none as good as him, but you never know. Maybe one of these days he’ll get an offer he can’t refuse.”

Baffert and trainer John Sadler said that their Pacific Classic runners, as well as their winners of other graded stakes over the weekend, also showed no ill effects.

Sadler said Pacific Classic runner-up Twirling Candy, beaten only a head by Acclamation, would go to the track to jog on Thursday and a decision regarding future races could be made by the end of the week.  Sadler-trained Celtic New Year, winner of Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Del Mar Handicap, came out of the race, in which he held off Bourbon Bay by a head, in good shape. The 4-year-old gelding will remain at Del Mar for a few days, then ship to Santa Anita for preparations of a possible Breeders’ Cup assignment.

Baffert said The Factor, an impressive winner of the Grade I, $250,000, Pat O’Brien and Classic fourth-place finisher Game On Dude  “came back great.”

“The Factor, you could tell that he ran hard, he was tired,” Baffert said.  In his first start in four months, The Factor covered the seven furlongs of the O’Brien in 1:21.56 in the second-fastest running of the race since the switch to a Polytrack main surface in 2007.

Game On Dude and The Factor will remain at Del Mar until next week, then be vanned to Santa Anita.



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