USA: Acclamation and Valenzuela back with a bang

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By Nicholas Godfrey
Racing Post


Hollywood Park: Charles Whittingham Memorial Hcap (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+

PACIFIC Classic winner Acclamation, America’s reigning Eclipse Award-winning older horse, returned after an eight-month layoff to complete a hat-trick in the Charles Whittingham.

The Don Warren-trained six-year-old, winning his sixth graded stakes on the spin, was ridden by 49-year-old Patrick Valenzuela, riding in his first race since May 19 owing to weight problems.

Acclamation was sent off even-money favourite for the $250,000 event before making all in typical fashion to beat former Stan Moore-trained Slim Shadey by just a length.

“This is just a tremendous horse,” said Valenzuela, back in the saddle after a four-month ‘retirement’ at the end of last year.

“I feel like Acclamation does, really good. I’ve been working out a lot and doing my cardiovascular work. I feel like he’s going to improve off this race. He has done a tremendous job bringing him back to where he was at today.”

The Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita is the ultimate target for Acclamation.

Runner-up Slim Shadey, now trained by British expat Simon Callaghan, has done really well in the States for owner Phil Cunningham, winning a Grade 2 and twice finishing second in Grade 1s.

View the original article at the Racing Post

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