12/13/2012 4:21PM

Hollywood Park: Eblouissante, Zenyatta's half-sister, makes second start in Saturday allowance

Shigeki Kikkawa
Eblouissante wins her debut Nov. 16 at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The start of Eblouissante’s career is becoming eerily similar to that of her half-sister Zenyatta.

Zenyatta, the 2010 Horse of the Year, won her debut at Hollywood Park on Nov. 22, 2007, the first of 19 consecutive wins. The 3-year-old Eblouissante won her debut at Hollywood Park on Nov. 16.

Zenyatta won her second start in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on Dec. 15, 2007. Eblouissante starts in an allowance race for fillies and mares on Saturday, which is, of course, Dec. 15.

[HOLLYWOOD PARK: Get PPs and watch Saturday's full card live]

Trainer John Shirreffs knows expectations are high for the 3-year-old Eblouissante. He guided Zenyatta throughout her career, which ended with a second to Blame in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November 2010. Every race that Eblouissante wins and every race in which she is entered will be heavily scrutinized.

A convincing winner of her debut in a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles, Eblouissante has trained well in the last month.

“She’s on her toes,” Shirreffs said. “It was a wake-up call, as they say.”

A win by Eblouissante on Saturday would lead to a start in the $150,000 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Jan. 20. Zenyatta won essentially the same race in 2008, the El Encino Stakes. The El Encino Stakes is no longer part of the Santa Anita calendar, and the La Canada has been moved up from February to its spot on the calendar.

Owned by breeder Eric Kronfeld, Eblouissante is part of a field of five in Saturday’s fourth race. Three of the others are entered to be claimed for $40,000 – Glowing Spirit, Include the Cat, and The Only Key. Toomanytomatoes, who won an optional claimer for California-breds on Nov. 11, is not entered for a claiming price.

Eblouissante, a closer, is likely to be in pursuit of expected pacesetter Glowing Spirit, who was second in the Las Madrinas Handicap at Fairplex Park in September.

“She’s got to prove it herself with so many things that are unpredictable,” Shirreffs said. “In a small field, it’s even more unpredictable.

“It’s her first start against winners. She’s got a lot do. We’ll go race by race, like we did with Zenyatta.”

That is the plan so far, one that will be extensively discussed and scrutinized as it unfolds.