11/15/2012 4:48PM

Hollywood: Amazombie will stay clear of Santa Anita for now

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Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Bill Spawr said that Amazombie’s first objective for 2013 is likely to be the $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 13.

Amazombie, the champion sprinter of 2011, will have an early 2013 campaign geared to stakes races away from Santa Anita, trainer Bill Spawr said earlier this week.

Amazombie was eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, a race preceded by a fourth-place finish on that track in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 6. Spawr said the addition of more than 1,000 tons of sand to the Santa Anita surface during the summer led to a change in the surface that did not suit Amazombie.

“I guess Santa Anita is out of the question, sad to say,” Spawr said.

The trainer said he had spoken with jockey Mike Smith, “and we agreed that he hates the track.”

Before the summertime renovation, Amazombie had excelled on Santa Anita’s main track, winning such races as the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes in 2011, and the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes last April.

Spawr said that Amazombie’s first objective for 2013 is likely to be the $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap over six furlongs at Oaklawn Park on April 13.

“We’ll look to ship him around to tracks that he likes and go from there,” he said.

Amazombie has run well on synthetic tracks at Betfair Hollywood Park and Del Mar in recent seasons, and could race on those surfaces next year. The Santa Anita issue may resurface in the second half of 2013, since the track is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup next November.

Spawr said that Amazombie may get a break away from the racetrack in coming weeks. He described the gelding’s condition as “absolutely 100 percent.”

“People want to know if I’m going to retire him, but no,” Spawr said.

“I might turn him out for 60 days to give him a break.”

edb More than 1 year ago
Amazombie just had a bad day at the races. It was a surprise at how badly, but it is time for a break. Can't have a slow start in a sprint championship and don't blame the track for the flat effort. More tired than ready for this one.
John More than 1 year ago
Funny how his pre Breeders Cup workouts were "sensational" in the words of both Sparr and Mike Smith ! Hum, whats up, one track in the am, one in the afternoon ! Cant we all just get along ? and everybody just go back to plain old dirt !
matt More than 1 year ago
Should Bill ever run him at Belmont, then we will know he was full of it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess he did not know the horse hated the track after the flat forth place finish in the S.A. sprint championship. He started the horse in the Breeders cup where he could burn everyone's money up. He is using the alibi the horse did not like the track, to cover himself for starting a horse that was not 100%. Smith said there was something wrong with the horse when he got off the horse.
Carson Horton More than 1 year ago
Interesting that the betting public isn't informed of major changes in the make up of the racing surface until after a debacle like Amazombie's BC prompts a trainer to make a comment like this?
Kendra Mcallister More than 1 year ago
That might cure his dis-like of the surface, time cures things the track surface has nothing to do with. The lemon may have been squeezed a bit towards the end of the year.
laura ban More than 1 year ago
Finishing 8th in the B.C. - Sounds like a vacation could be in order. He might come back refreshed and ready to run on any surface.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
It's possible Amazombie doesn't like the more sandy composition of the surface. That thought actually entered my head right after the Ancient Title/SA Sprint Champ. The track the BC preps(including the Ancient Title) were run over were quite different from the track from earlier this year. Prior to the infusion of sand, Santa Anita was equally speed favoring, but it was consierably less heavy and tiring; horses just bounced over it. With the extra sand, the track appeared safer but it produced much slower times(the converse is that it also produced a greater spread in times, something that promotes higher Beyer figs). However, there is also the possibility that Amazombie is simply over the top, or is on a downward career trajectory. It's really hard to keep a sprinter at the elite level for more than 12 or 18 months. That's why I consider Kona Gold, who made 5 BC Sprints and ran 1st(2000), 2nd(99'), 3rd(98'), and 4th(02'), the best sprinter of the last 15-20 years.
Kendra Mcallister More than 1 year ago
that's funny you consider 107.98 a slower time, nice thought wrong direction
Tom Van More than 1 year ago
guy don't understand what your issue is, of course the horse doesn't owe anyone anything but if he is sound and healty why not continue to race Amazombie? You don't believe a horse can dislike a surface?
Guy More than 1 year ago
The TRULY great horses overcome ANY surface they run on. Amazombie has had a great career...time to let him retire. And my opinion, like yours Tom...doesn't matter to anyone but ourselves,
Guy More than 1 year ago
He "hates" the track??? Yeah ok...this horse should be retired. He does not owe anyone anything.