Santa Anita Derby candidate Midnight Transfer worked five furlongs on
Santa Anita’s main track Saturday in 59.80. The San Pedro Stakes winner
is preparing for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles
on April 7.
“He worked very well,” said Carla Gaines, who trains the Kentucky-bred son of Hard Spun for principal client Warren Williamson.
Meanwhile, California-bred Acclamation, Eclipse Award winner as
2011’s Outstanding Older Male, had his first workout Saturday since
suffering a bruise to his right foot following his fifth straight stakes
victory, in the Grade II Clement L. Hirsch at Santa Anita last Oct. 2.
On Santa Anita’s work tab, Acclamation was clocked in 53.60 for four
furlongs over a firm turf course, although trainer Don Warren gave him a
time of 1:07 for five furlongs.
“It was a little on the slow side,” said Warren, who supervised
the drill as part owner and breeder Bud Johnston looked on. “But I told
him (rider Fernando Valenzuela) if he had to err, error on the slow
side. It was a little slow, but it went well.”
Acclamation had won five straight graded stakes, three of them
Grade I’s, before he was sidelined following the Hirsch. With a 9-2-6
record from 28 starts, the bay has earned $1,628,048. Warren’s
long-range plans call for the 6-year-old Unusual Heat horse to compete
in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 and 3.