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Acclimate Earns Breeders' Cup Berth with Del Mar Handicap Win

by Del Mar Stable Notes

August 17, 2019

California-bred Acclimate, masterfully-rated on the lead by jockey Florent Geroux, went to the front shortly after the start and won the marathon Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Handicap presented by the Japan Racing Association from wire-to-wire Saturday.

The five-year-old son of Acclamation, owned by the Ellwood Johnston Trust and Timmy Time Racing, set a comfortable pace in the mile and three-eighths distance test on the grass and had enough in reserve to score by one length in 2:12.71 over Oscar Dominguez. Ritzy A.P. was third, a length behind the second-place runner and a neck in front of Blended Citizen.

The Great Day, the 9-5 favorite, was fifth, while 2-1 supported Marckie’s Water was seventh and last. Withdrawn from the Del Mar ‘Cap were United and Arizona Moon.

Acclimate, winner of the San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita in June, qualified for the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita in November since the Del Mar Handicap is a “Win and You’re In”  Challenge Series event.

Sent postward at 7-1, Acclimate, who is trained by Phil D’Amato, returned $16.60, $8.00 and $6.00 while earning first prize of $150,000 to elevate his total earnings to $325,872. Oscar Dominguez paid $11.40 and $6.20, while Ritzy A.P. returned $6.20 to show.

FLORENT GEROUX (Acclimate, winner) – “It worked out very well. The horse was sharp. He went to the front easily. And he ran relaxed all the way.”

JOE TALAMO (Oscar Dominguez, second) – “We had our trip. The leader just never came back to us.”

MARTIN GARCIA (Ritzy A.P., third) – “Too easy up front for the winner. I wanted to go get him, but I couldn’t move my horse too soon.”

PHIL D’AMATO (Acclimate, winner) – “He had been breezing up a storm, so I knew he was in good form. But you’re up against a lot of nice horses and it’s great that he proved the best today.”