10/07/2012 7:53PM

Santa Anita: Amazombie will undergo tests after flop in Sprint Championship

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Amazombie is still pointing to the Breeders' Cup Sprint, but his connections want to find out if there is a physical reason he did not run well in Saturday's Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Amazombie will undergo precautionary health tests in coming days after finishing fourth as a heavy favorite in Saturday’s $250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

Co-owner and trainer Bill Spawr said that Amazombie remains on course for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint here on Nov. 3, a race he won at Churchill Downs last year.

“He’s a little tired,” Spawr said. “He didn’t eat much. He didn’t put in that run that he usually does.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: DRF top 10 lists, video replays, latest news]

“We’ll do some tests. I’ll take some bloods. We’ll see if we can figure something out.”

In the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, Amazombie was second with a furlong to go, but faded to finish 1 1/2 lengths behind race winner Coil.

Spawr said there indications before the race that Amazombie was not 100 percent.

“He was a little dull when we were saddling him,” he said. “He didn’t get beat that far. He didn’t have that kick.”

Amazombie was sent off at 4-5 shot in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, his first race since winning the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar in late July. After the race, jockey Mike Smith said that Amazombie tired late in the race, but would benefit from the start. It was a point that Smith reiterated with Spawr in a Saturday evening phone call, the trainer said.

“He called back [Saturday] night,” Spawr said. “You understand that this race will move him up.”

Baffert pair move on to BC Sprint

Coil earned an automatic berth to the BC Sprint with his win on Saturday.

The race was part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, offering a fees paid berth to the BC Sprint.

Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Coil won his first stakes of 2012 in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Trained by Bob Baffert, Coil won the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational over 1 1/8 miles at Monmouth Park in 2011.

Baffert said on Sunday that he will focus on the BC Sprint with Coil and stablemate Capital Account, who was beaten a head in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship after a strong rally through the stretch.

They had been considered for the BC Dirt Mile.

“I’ll stick with the Sprint,” Baffert said. “I was hoping it would work out that way. I debated what to do with them and got an answer” Saturday.

Coil and Capital Account were ridden by Martin Garcia and David Flores, who will keep the mounts for the BC Sprint, Baffert said.

STEVE More than 1 year ago
Amazombie is clearly an overachiever. Recepient of an excellent trip this weekend. He came up suprisingly empty. What this does is enhance the odds for loyal supporters on November 3rd.
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
I hate him (sort of) He cost me a huge P4 score in last years BC, when my horse ran the perfect race, only to get beat late. Force Freeze mad ehte right pace, the right move and got beat by a horse that won because of getting his tongue tied for the first time, being the "horse for the course" and the connections having to borrow $25,000 to get him into the race. Not that it makes a difference, but the way it worked out was sucked. I think the P4 was somewhere in the $18,000 range and I had it several times.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
Coil isn't getting the respect he deserves. The Haskell winner will be an overlay in the Breeders Cup. I like him.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
After the race Smith says the horse just needed the race. But going in, both Smith and Spawr were flowing with accolades about how Amazombie is even better than last year. And last year, Amazombie won both this race and the BC Sprint. Spawr announcing that the horse will undergo tests leads me to believe that he's genuinely surprised the horse couldn't even salvage 2nd or 3rd. Of course, suggesting a physical excuse also takes some of the pressure off Spawr if, in fact, he made a mistake and had the horse undertrained.
Guy More than 1 year ago
Horses that ship in without working out over the Santa Anita dirt track have little or no shot against Baffert's string of Breeder's Cup horses. He may very well win every race he enters horses in Breeder's Cup weekend.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I respectfully have to ask if you have gone mad with Baffert fever. Belmont has been heavy last few weeks. Saturated. The east coast turf horses far superior. And that surface at Santa Anita will be blazing fast like cement on BC day. Bob may not win a race.Contested best shot.
Guy More than 1 year ago
Never said a thing about the Turf Horses Thomas...pay attention fella. Horses that ship in late will have little or no chance on the dirt against ANY of Baffert's horses. Those are just the facts. Baffert could care less about turf races or the turf course at Santa Anita. I'd be willing to take any Baffert horse on the dirt over any horse you like. And again...your hatred and jealousy of Baffert kept you from actually READING what I wrote.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
First I don't hate and am not jealous. Just opinionated. Second I assume you refer to track bias helping Baffert n other west coast trainers. It has been my experience as assistant and former trainer that horses who train on heavy tracks like Belmont has been lately then race on faster, less laboring surfaces fatigue less. Example was Love and Pride last weekend for Pletcher and Dullahan for Romans in Pacific Classic as well as Ron The Greek in Santa Anita Handicap. All trained on Saratoga and Belmont and shipped in late to win. Factual unbiased points. My comment not towards Baffert. Was about training pounts. Thanks
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
You both made some good points. Horses are mysterious creatures and dont always follow the rules. Funny Cide won the derby without training at CD . I do like seeing a dirt horse work on the turf before running for the same reasons you just gave.
Jade Sword More than 1 year ago
Horses have good and bad days. Health tests after not winning... lol Loved this race, and look forward to seeing the usual suspects in the BC sprint again. Hope Reneesgotzip will make it in as well. She's a lot better than she looked here. I can tell that without health tests.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Can these guys just say the truth. Horse was not cranked for this. Most get tired and come off their feed after a race. Do the blood tests. Politic for the unknowing. He and Lumber Guy ready to rumble. Coil ran too hard to be much of a factor in the Bc.
Jack More than 1 year ago
If you didn't FEEL your Horse was a 100% why didn't you have Trevor make a Public announcment,and SAVE the POOR Saps a whole lot of MONEY?? Becuase you don't give a DAMN Mr Spawr, you'll be back in the Breeder's Cup. Ok Mikey Smith IF you have a SHOT at the TOP of the stretch "Go Ahead" but DON'T squeez him, we got the BIG race coming up. Yes BOSS man,I copy. You and Mike Smith make me SICK. Bill Spawr and LOW odds DO NOT MIX..................
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Wow Jack you just uncovered one of the greatest mysteries of the planet. Everything in the horse biz is an absolute and a definitive. I know im a smartazz but its better than being a dumbazz.
Suzanne Thomas More than 1 year ago
Mr. Spawr is one of the best trainers in the business - he really cares about his horses, prepares them well, and treats them well. Not only that, he is the epitome of honest. He does not deserve the invective you are hurling at him. Neither does Mike, for that matter.
Goldhybrid More than 1 year ago
If you were Spawr, would you use him up in a 250 G race or save him for the 2 million? If he's got another Breeder's Cup in him, you don't spend him against Coil who beat Shackelford, who beat Amazombie. I wasn't surprised. Spawr's a smart trainer.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
These Cal horses just can't stay healthy. is it the surface out there or the drugs from all these trainers giving them and crooked stewards looking the other way
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Give a rest already. You sound like a fool.
Jack More than 1 year ago
If you think for ONE minute these Horse's aren't on some KIND of DRUG your the FOOL...
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Let me get this right. Now you're saying Bill Spawr drugs his horses. I rest my case.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Why not,fatbody. When in Rome...
David Rose More than 1 year ago
U tell'em BIG MAN! I'm with u 100%!
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Fatboy? Again, I rest my case.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Yeah, They're gettin their own and the Trainers don't know nutten about it. They wudden even in town.
ALEJANDRO ANZA More than 1 year ago
you are sick person,you really are.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Have you even looked at Amazombie's past performances? The horse has been in almost constant training for over 2 years. He made 9 starts last year from January until November, and was back in training this year in January.
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
NINE starts!!!! OMG....NINE starts. I know of a horse last year that won 18 races!. Todays breed are weak, over-developed and put into action too fast. Nine whole starts. Wow. Thank you for making my day so complete with laughter and joy. NINE starts!!!