07/30/2012 2:27PM

Del Mar: Amazombie following familiar path to Breeders' Cup Sprint

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Benoit & Associates
Amazombie, winning the Bing Crosby, will race only once more before the Breeders' Cup in November.

DEL MAR, Calif. – The plan that Bill Spawr mapped out with Amazombie late last year resulted in a Breeders’ Cup Sprint win and a subsequent Eclipse Award, so there’s absolutely no reason for Spawr to do anything differently this year. As in 2011, Amazombie, who won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes here at Del Mar on Sunday, will not race again until Santa Anita’s fall meet, and have just one prep for the BC Sprint.

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Last year, Amazombie finished third in the Crosby, then won the Ancient Title before going to Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup. This year, Amazombie has the home-court advantage. He will run next in the renamed Ancient Title – now the Santa Anita Sprint Championship – on Oct. 6, then sit back until the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Nov. 2-3.
Even though Amazombie won on Polytrack on Sunday, the move back to dirt at Santa Anita excites Spawr.

“He prefers dirt,” said Spawr, who trains and is the co-owner of Amazombie. “He ran well because he’s stronger, but he prefers dirt.”

Spawr said both he and jockey Mike Smith agree that Amazombie, 6, is carrying more muscle than a year ago.
“He’s stronger,” Spawr said. “He’s better than ever.”

Amazombie covered six furlongs on Polytrack in 1:08.65, the fastest six furlongs of the meet.

Spawr lamented that the Crosby is not a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup. The Santa Anita Sprint Championship is, however.

“This race should be a Win and You’re In, too,” he said.

The Factor, who finished second as the even-money favorite in the Crosby, is headed to Saratoga for the Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 1. His trainer, Bob Baffert, also said he will run Coil here in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien on Aug. 26. Both the Forego and O’Brien are at seven furlongs. But Baffert wants The Factor back on dirt.

On Polytrack, The Factor “can’t separate himself,” Baffert said Monday. “It takes away his brilliance.”