Friday, 8 June 2012
: After more than eight months on the sidelines turf champion Acclamation will make his much-awaited return in the $250,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday in a bid to win the G1 event for the third successive year.
The 6-year-old brings a five-race winning streak into the Whittingham, stretching back nearly 13 months.
Included in the streak was a gate-to-wire 3 1/2-length verdict in last year's Whittingham on the Hollywood turf,
Trained by Don Warren, Acclamation was voted the nation's top older horse in 2011 but has not been seen since winning the G2 Clement L. Hirsch on turf at Santa Anita Park in October.
He also won the G1 Eddie Read Stakes (turf) and the $1 million G1 Pacific Classic on the Polytrack, both at Del Mar, as part of last year's winning streak.
Acclamation has nine wins in 28 races including five from 10 at Hollywood Park.
He also captured the 2010 Whittingham in front-running style and should he prevail again he would join the legendary John Henry as the only three-time winners of the race.
Previously known as the Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap. John Henry won the race in 1980, 1981 and again as a 9-year-old in 1984.
Veteran jockey Patrick Valenzuela is named to ride Acclamation, who drew the outside post.
Valenzuela has not ridden since May 19 but has been aboard Acclamation in the champion's past two starts.