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Acclamation Diagnosed With 'Mild Strain'

Breeders' Cup options still under consideration for last year's champion older horse.

The injury that will keep Acclamation from defending his championship in the TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 26 has been determined to be a "mild strain" of a ligament in the area of the left front pastern.

"It's not serious. It's not career-ending, at least we don't think so right now," said owner E.W. "Bud" Johnston Aug. 16. "But it's something that makes it impossible to train on it for a short period of time at least.

"We've been very fortunate with him and we were really looking forward to the race. But we're hoping that maybe we can meet those guys (Pacific Classic rivals) in the Breeders' Cup."

The Breeders' Cup World Championships are Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita Park. Acclamation, the reigning Eclipse Award winner in the older male category, is a candidate for either the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) or $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Both are Nov. 3.

"I'm sorry for Del Mar," Johnston said. "He's a very popular horse and he would have brought interest to the race and some people to the grandstand. And it's just nice to have those kinds of horses in a race."

There is no timetable for a return to training or racing, Johnston said. 

"We have to keep a close watch, and he'll tell us when he's ready," Johnston said. "We can't say one way or the other, but he's not lame or anything, he's acting fine this morning, and I think he'll be back."

With Acclamation out, stablemate Norvsky will be nominated to the Pacific Classic, Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT), and Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT), races on Aug. 25-26 for which the nomination deadline is Aug. 16. A decision will be made on which race to enter next week.

"We're probably leaning toward the Mile (Aug. 26), but we'll see what the races look like and consider our options," Johnston said. "He's doing really well right now."