11/16/2012 7:02PM

Hollywood Park: Zenyatta sister wins debut easily

Benoit & Associates
Eblouissante is out of Vertigineux, who is also the dam of Zenyatta.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Living up to expectations, Eblouissante, a 3-year-old half-sister to the famous champion Zenyatta, won her first start at Betfair Hollywood Park on Friday, comfortably beating seven other 3-year-old fillies in a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles.

While following the legacy of Zenyatta, the 2010 Horse of the Year who won 19 of 20 starts, is almost impossible to duplicate, Eblouissante won in a very promising style.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Eblouissante ($4.80) closed from seventh to win by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:45.27. She caught pacesetter Saturday Nite Ride inside the eighth pole and drew off late. Chestnut Moon finished second, a half-length in front of Saturday Nite Ride.

During the last furlong of the race, an emphatic cheer rose from the small crowd gathered on Friday afternoon.
Eblouissante, by Bernardini, races for breeder Eric Kronfeld, who bred Zenyatta and sold her as a yearling. John Shirreffs, who trained Zenyatta, also trains Eblouissante. Zenyatta is by Street Cry. Vertigineux is the dam of Zenyatta and Eblouissante, as well as the retired millionaire Balance.

In the moments after Friday's race, Shirreffs said he was both "excited and relieved" by the result.

"She's such a beautiful racehorse and she performed so well," he said. "I've been waiting for this day.


"I thought she handled everything well. It was her first time and she didn't know what was going on. She couldn't have handled herself better."


In recent weeks, Shirreffs said that Eblouissante had shown more determination in finishing her workouts. She displayed the same tendency in Friday's race, moving from sixth place to second from the end of the backstretch to early stretch.

"It looks like something clicks and she knows she should catch the horses in front of her," Shirreffs said. "We've seen that in the morning.

"Corey did a great job with her. We wanted to find a rhythm."

Shirreffs and Kronfeld are hoping that Eblouissante can start in an allowance race at the end of this meeting on Dec. 16 or at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which opens on Dec. 26.

Eblouissante's win comes almost five years to the day of Zenyatta's debut on Nov. 22, 2007. Zenyatta started her career in a race over 6 1/2 furlongs, winning by three lengths. She won her first 19 starts before finishing second to Blame in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in her final race.
Zenyatta, 8, resides in Kentucky as a broodmare.


Wesley Wright More than 1 year ago
Really like the way she caught up with the leaders at the top of the stretch and pulled away authoritatively. Her pedigree is as good as Zeny. Lets see what she does in her next race. She looks like she would relish 10f. Good luck to Eblouissante and her connections.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Vic Taylor More than 1 year ago
Is that you Jess Jackson?
Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
I WISH i could clone myself so then I would have the best friend in the world and help me handicap
Del More than 1 year ago
That would be ideal because there aren't enough hours in a day.
Zentanic144 More than 1 year ago
Everyone's expecting the second coming of Zenyatta just because they share the same dam...A lot of people are in for a let down...Zenny isn't easily repeated :/
Robyn Henderson More than 1 year ago
Everyone? I know tons of racing fans, trainers, jockeys, owners, etc. ... And I don't know ANY who expect her to be the next Zenyatta ... That lots of people do is a common misperception. It's simply untrue.
Del More than 1 year ago
You never know.
automatic slim More than 1 year ago
For her first race, she sure looked mighty good.............
Kat Anderson More than 1 year ago
I adore John Shirreffs and what he does with the gifted girls. How exciting, and here come the eye waterworks again.
ChristinaA More than 1 year ago
The time was slow, but she looked good. I also look forward to seeing Saturday Night Ride continue her career. Once she learns to settle, she'll be a good sprinter/miler. Good luck to them both.
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
ALL of Zenyatta tines were slow paced races against the same ckeao horses on a fake surface.
Robyn Henderson More than 1 year ago
Her preliminary Beyer is said to be 85 ... I'd say that's not too shabby for a first timer eh? ;)
Del More than 1 year ago
I'd say that it's impressive considering the debut was a route.
Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
actually, half sister since she has a different father,,,,
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
They said that.
K More than 1 year ago
1/2 to Zenyatta, 3/4 to Zenyatta's colt
John More than 1 year ago
You can tell who bet her and who bet against her by the scope of the comments ! I saw Baffert standing there waiting on his horse (Saturday Night Ride) to return and its sort of nice to see him musing , "boy Id sure like to have her " Typical Sheriffs, slow slow, sloooowww works over a long period of time ! Its almost the slower the better chance they fire first time out ! Good Luck everyone ! Lets get GOLDENCENTS there at Delta today !
Berni More than 1 year ago
for those of you who would like to know the meaning of the Name ...Dazzling .. fits best ...
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
She reminds of many horses who break their maiden well
John Dutchy More than 1 year ago
But from John shireffs barn? This doesn't happen that often first time
jay More than 1 year ago
Actually, not many maidens settle like her, make a sustained move from the back of the pack and then accelerate to the finish line at a mile and a sixteenth in their first start.