Acclimate, Rockemperor Among Seven Entered For Friday’s Hollywood Turf Cup

Phil D’Amato-trained Acclimate, John Shirreff’s Astronaut, and Chad Brown-conditioned Rockemperor, last seen at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif., in the $4 million Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, are among seven entered today for Friday’s $250,000 G2 Hollywood Turf Cup.

A victory, or high placing, for Acclimate, Astronaut, or Rockemperor, would salve the sting of ill-starred efforts in the Breeders’ Cup, in the case of Astronaut and Rockemperor after gaining entry through “Win and You’re In” victories.

Astronaut rallied in the stretch for a half-length victory in the Del Mar Handicap at odds of 24-1 on Pacific Classic Day in August. Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza found no clear path in the BC Turf, however, had to check hard before the quarter pole and finished 12th of 14. Rockemperor won the Turf Classic at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., in October but was in tight quarters throughout in the BC Turf and finished eighth.

Acclimate, with one win and three narrow losses in graded events leading up to the BC Turf, was close to the pace early before fading to last.

The post position draw was scheduled this afternoon. The entrants, in alphabetical order: Acclimate (Ricky Gonzalez); Astronaut (Espinoza); Award Winner (Juan Hernandez); Cupid’s Claws (Abel Cedillo); Friar’s Road (Umberto Rispoli), Rockemperor (Flavien Prat), and Say The Word (Kent Desormeaux).

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