Acceptance stays perfect in King Glorious Stakes 

 

      Heavily-favored Acceptance remained undefeated, passing his first two-turn test with a decisive victory in the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes Sunday at Los Alamitos.Stretched out to a mile after beginning his career with a pair of sprint wins at Santa Anita, the son of Vronsky was content to track the pace early, repelled a bid from Pulmarack and went on to win by three lengths as the 3-10 choice.

Trained by Don Warren for Robert Riggio and breeders Bud and Judy Johnston, Acceptance completed the distance in 1:35.81 under regular jockey Elvis Trujillo.

Restricted to 2-year-olds bred or sired in California, the King Glorious had been run the previous two years at seven furlongs at the now-closed Hollywood Park. The 2013 winner in the final stakes race run at the historic Inglewood track was eventual Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner and leading 2014 Horse of the Year candidate California Chrome.

What the future holds for Acceptance, who is out of the Perfect Mandate mare Allswellthatnswell, remains to be seen, but he’s made no mistakes thus far. He increased his bankroll to $257,600 Sunday and paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10. His wins have been by a combined 17 ½ lengths.

”He relaxed perfectly behind the leaders,’’ said Trujillo. “I moved on the backstretch when (runner-up Pulmarack) came up on our outside and I didn’t want to lose position. This is a very nice horse with a lot of class.’’

Bud Johnston indicated the $250,000 California Cup Derby – at 1 1/16 miles – Jan. 24 at Santa Anita could be next for Acceptance.

“He ran really game,’’ said Johnston. “He’s a good colt. He handled the track so beautifully when we brought him over for a work (seven furlongs in 1:23.80 Dec. 7). He has some real talent and you don’t know how far that talent will take you.’’

The only member of the field with a prior win at the King Glorious distance, Pulmarack, a half-brother to 2013 Del Mar Futurity winner Tamarando, finished a half-length in front of 15-1 shot Kluszewski as the 8-1 third choice.

Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, who was also second in the 2013 King Glorious with Pray Hard, Pulmarack returned $4 and $3 while the show price on Kluszewski was $3.60.

Completing the order of finish were 3-1 second choice Mischief Clem, Comanche Ruler and P Club.

With four days remaining in the Winter thoroughbred meet, Rafael Bejarano holds an 8-7 lead over Tyler Baze in the jockey standings. Tiago Pereira, who won twice Sunday for trainer Phil D’Amato, has six victories.

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert leads the trainers with a half-dozen wins, two more than closest pursuers D’Amato and Robertino Diodoro.

Racing resumes Thursday. Post time is 12:30 p.m.

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