01/18/2013 5:02PM

Santa Anita: Eblouissante runs her way into graded stakes

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Shig Kikkawa
Eblouissante, ridden by Corey Nakatani, wins her second start on Thursday at Santa Anita. The Santa Margarita may be next.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Eblouissante, a half-sister to Zenyatta, is bound for a graded stakes in March after winning an optional claimer at Santa Anita on Thursday to remain unbeaten in two starts.

Friday, trainer John Shirreffs said that Eblouissante, 4, will be considered for the $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes, a Grade 1 for fillies and mares over 1 1/8 miles here March 16. The race could lead to a start in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 12.

“The Santa Margarita is the one that we’ll look at,” Shirreffs said.

He said the timing of the Santa Margarita is preferred to the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes over 1 1/16 miles Feb. 16.

Shirreffs has had success at Oaklawn. He sent Zenyatta there twice, winning the 2008 and 2010 Apple Blossom.

“It’s a fun place to go,” Shirreffs said.

In the 2008 Apple Blossom, Zenyatta beat a group that included Ginger Punch, the 2007 champion older female. Zenyatta’s win in the 2010 Apple Blossom was her 16th consecutive win in a streak that went to 19. The 2010 Horse of the Year, Zenyatta was beaten in her 20th and final start, the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

Zenyatta won the 2010 Santa Margarita, her 15th career win.

Thursday, Eblouissante ($3) won a first-condition optional claimer by 1 3/4 lengths over 22-1 Pink Blossom, running 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.89. Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Eblouissante earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 83.

She closed from last in a field of five.

“She sat nicely and she moved up nicely,” Shirreffs said. “She stayed where Corey wanted her. At the end, she picked it up a little bit. She’d never been on this track, and it’s a sandy track.”

Owned by breeder Eric Kronfeld, Eblouissante made her first start Thursday since winning a maiden race at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 16.

A 4-year-old by Bernardini, Eblouissante was scratched from an optional claimer at Hollywood Park on Dec. 15 when she struck her hip on a door in the track’s receiving barn. She resumed training the next day.

katcooper13 More than 1 year ago
She definitely is a candidate for improving.....hello 2nd race.... Doing just fine...she looked so nice and fresh in that post parade. Again, nice training!!
katcooper13 More than 1 year ago
(: a black beauty.... great job mr sherriff~
katcooper13 More than 1 year ago
Just saying...eventually im thinking i would get rid of her blinker's...thinking i saw slight hesitation near horses w them in both of her races..thinking she's definitely a competitive girl when beside other horses and would do great. Though John knows best as w her works... (:
Nick Arden More than 1 year ago
As I said before on Thursday there were 6 races run at BHP that were a mile or over and 5 of the 6 were won by horses that were at the front the whole race. The only horse that won from the back of the pack was Eblouissante and she had to overcome slow fractions in addition to the heavy track bias to do it. 83 isn't a great Beyer but it was her second race and first start on dirt.
Frank Parente More than 1 year ago
If you have the money to fly a horse around and pick and choose a graded stakes races...well, pretty sure most of all of us don't have that luxury. If any of you do or have recently, just post it. Not saying I agree but then again I don't have those resources. Give it one shot and then regroup, if the horse is sound, gives the race and the track some buzz, what the heck. She will likely be overbet so....go to the windows and play!
Rodrigo Dominguez More than 1 year ago
Why is it that people are always trying to discredit a horse winning a race. If you know racing you know that this was not the best race a horse has run but you would also know that she beat what was infront of her and she looks like she will improve. I, by no means am saying that she is the next greatest horse but she looks like a potential G1 winner. Great stride and she moved nicely around the horses without any urging from Corey. Good thing we dont have to wait long to see what she is made of. After March 16th we will have a better picture of what to expect. I for one want her to be awesome, not because shes Zen's half-sister but because I was the biggest Bernardini fan and she kind of looks more like him.
Mark D More than 1 year ago
we are gamblers....we want to make $$$. And we discredit her win over a bunch of handpicked bums as an opportunity to make some serious cash when she is way overbet next out. You bet on her next time....more $$$ for me!!
martymar . More than 1 year ago
and did you win last time?
Mark D More than 1 year ago
Didnt bet race. Didnt think any of the handpicked bums they filled the race with had a chance. Its giong to be a key race to bet against all togther. Just like her Maiden race is turning out to be,
katcooper13 More than 1 year ago
I bet both races...YaY! lol
therealdubwhite More than 1 year ago
Did you see the same race that the rest of us watched, when Nakatani went to the whip 4 times in the stretch that would cause the statement (without any urging) to be absolutely invalid. When a horse is hit with the whip 4 times, well they dont called that "without any urging".
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Hopefully she's much better on synthetics or grass.shes a nice filly and she's zenyatas 1/2 sister but she will never win a gr1 on dirt based on what we saw so far.i wish her the best but she's got a long way to go to be in the same zip code as her sister.if she goes in the apple blossom I will bet against her with both hands.
katcooper13 More than 1 year ago
You must have really missed her 1st race.... hello
therealdubwhite More than 1 year ago
Spot on statement Ray, slow times and the need to improve a great deal to route against a horse like MMA.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
I wish nothing but the best and a long racing career for this filly, but it seems like a huge step-up from first condition allowance/o.c. to a Grade 1 stakes. Obviously Shireffs knows his filly best, but what would it hurt to start her in another allowance or overnight stakes first? She took her time in getting by Pink Blossom in yesterday's race, and the slow final time is at least a mild concern.
therealdubwhite More than 1 year ago
Would love to see the Matchup between My Miss Aurelia and Eblouissante, I hope that other top 4 year olds will consider showing up at Oaklawn.
Mark D More than 1 year ago
Please....you are giving her waaaaaaay too muc credit. It it were a prize fight...they would stop it.
Larry Goren More than 1 year ago
Jay - can someone ask a question without you perceiving it as a attack on john sherriffs or is that not good enough for you ?
jay More than 1 year ago
Where did you get that idea?
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
From you.
Donald Walters More than 1 year ago
A filly with limited seasoning being entered in a Grade I race? Why not run her through her conditions?
jay More than 1 year ago
Donald...Why not run her where they think she can win? If John Sherriffs thinks she is good enough to tackle Grade 1 company, that's good enough for me
catinabox More than 1 year ago
Oh, there's Jay again, slamming people for having an opinion.
catinabox More than 1 year ago
It's interesting that Jay doesn't have an opinion of his own, he just slams others.