11/10/2011 3:26PM

Hollywood: Amazombie's 2012 plan ends with BC Sprint

Barbara D. Livingston
Amazombie (left) rallied to score a neck victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

ARCADIA, Calif. – January is a big month for Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Amazombie and Bill Spawr, the gelding’s trainer and co-owner with Tom Sanford.

Spawr has sketched a tentative six-start campaign for Amazombie in 2012 that will begin in January and end in the BC Sprint.

“Our goal is Breeders’ Cup at home,” Spawr said, referring to the Nov. 2-3 series that will be held at Santa Anita. While Amazombie nipped playfully at visitors to the Spawr stable early this week, the trainer outlined plans for 2012 that includes three fewer starts than he made in 2011. “He would only run five or six times, which is good.”

Spawr will point Amazombie for two Santa Anita sprints – the Palos Verdes in January, followed by the Potrero Grande in April. Amazombie would make one start at Hollywood in May in the Los Angeles Handicap, followed by the Bing Crosby in July at Del Mar. His campaign would culminate at Santa Anita in the Ancient Title and BC Sprint.

Amazombie has made nine starts this year. Spawr marveled at how Amazombie acted going into the BC Sprint and his physical condition coming out.

“This horse is amazing,” he said. “He’s so professional. There’s no silliness, he does everything right. And the day after, his legs were ice cold.”

Although Amazombie won the BC Sprint by a neck, Spawr and jockey Mike Smith said the margin was deceptive.

“He pulled up,” Smith said. “He always pulls up.”

The tendency to pull up after making the lead is one of Amazombie’s few remaining bad habits since he was gelded Jan. 28, 2010. As a gelding, he has crossed the wire first 11 of 17 times; he was disqualified from victory twice for interference. He won 5 of 11 this year.

At the conclusion of the Breeders’ Cup postrace interview session, the host caught Spawr off guard with the remark, “We’ll see you in January at the Beverly Hilton.”

“I didn’t know what that meant,” Spawr said.

It means Spawr must rent a tuxedo. The Eclipse Award ceremony is Jan. 16 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.