12/29/2012 3:59PM

Santa Anita: Track bias will determine where Amazombie makes first start of 2013

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Bill Spawr said he does not want to run Amazombie at Santa Anita if the track is favoring front-runners.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Amazombie, the champion sprinter of 2011, will end a winter vacation in mid-January and return to training at Bill Spawr’s stable at Santa Anita. But the venue of his first start for 2013 is unclear.

Spawr said he is considering the $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on April 6, a race that Amazombie won in 2011 and 2012, or the $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap over six furlongs at Oaklawn Park on April 13.

The decision will be based on the trend of racing on Santa Anita’s main track. Spawr, who co-owns Amazombie with Tom Sanford, said he is reluctant to run Amazombie at Santa Anita if the main track appears to favor front-runners. Amazombie is best when racing from off the pace.

In the Breeders’ Cup Sprint here on Nov. 3, Amazombie finished eighth, never displaying his late kick after racing as close as fifth.

“If this track is the same as it was in the Breeders’ Cup, and it doesn’t suit his style, we’ll go to Oaklawn,” Spawr said. “He’ll be racing in April.”

A 7-year-old in 2013, Amazombie has won 12 of 29 starts and $1,920,378.

He won the 2011 BC Sprint at Churchill Downs. In 2012, the season was highlighted by the win in the Potrero Grande and the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar. After the Breeders’ Cup, Amazombie was given a much-deserved vacation at a local farm, Spawr said.

“He’s in a 14-by-20 stall,” Spawr said. “In the day, he’s got a grass area of about a quarter of an acre. He’s never had a break.”

Gypsy Robin recovering from knee surgery

Gypsy Robin, the winner of the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes for fillies at Keeneland in October, has been turned out until late spring after undergoing surgery to have a bone chip removed from a knee, trainer Mike Puype said.

Gypsy Robin is expected to return to racing as a 4-year-old in 2013, and will be pointed to the Betfair Hollywood Park spring-summer and Del Mar meetings.

“She came up with a small problem and we’ll give her some time,” Puype said.

Puype also trains Calidoscopio, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Marathon on Nov. 2. An Argentine-bred, Calidoscopio missed an intended start in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup in December because of an illness.

Calidoscopio has since returned to training. Puype said marathon stakes such as the $100,000 Tokyo City Cup over 1 1/2 miles on the main track on March 23 and the $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap over about 1 3/4 miles on turf on April 21 are goals for early 2013.

The BC Marathon was Calidoscopio’s first start in the United States, and his 40th career start. A 10-year-old in 2013, he has won 10 races and $853,154 in a career that began in 2007.

◗ Eblouissante, a half-sister to 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, worked a half-mile in 53.40 seconds at Hollywood Park on Saturday. A maiden race winner in November, Eblouissante was scratched from an optional claimer at Hollywood Park in December after striking her hip on a door in the track’s backstretch receiving barn.


Mike B More than 1 year ago
Gotta match the track to the horse. As a youthful handicapper, I focused mostly on the horse. Now as a part owner, the track is becoming more and more important to my pocketbook. Example, my claimer just got a 2nd and close 3rd (neck from win) in 2 starts at BHP; delusions of grandeur were setting in about moving up in class. In the first start at SA, we were 7th and couldn't close. The synthetic warming in the sun at BHP favored the closers; the early SA dirt race went for faster fractions and 3 seconds faster overall time than the BHP at the same distance (including an even faster stretch run). So the horses went fast and then faster. Now I have a closer in a long meet with a track were the speed is holding up--so it looks like a few months of horse payments. That or try another track. Ideally, every track could have 3 surfaces (dirt, turf, synthetic) and write races across them for owners to place horses but you have to play the hand you dealt. Much also has to do with weather, humidity, use, and maintenance. Certainly could be more resources, science and research into surfaces. Otherwise, you have some real disparities among tracks and owners pulling good horses that just don't match the track.
p e adler More than 1 year ago
Calidoscopio, 10 yr. old, 40 starts, 10 wins. Nana Beach, 5 yr. old, 40 starts (18 in 2011), dies a maiden. What were they thinking? Shame on B. Abrams. RIP Nana Beach.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
What I said in the previous post being said, why can't these track superintendents ever make a fair surface.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
Good horses run through the bias.
Scott Maier More than 1 year ago
I personally find the Oaklawn surface every bit as speed biased as Santa Anita's. In fact, one is hard pressed to find any main track surfaces in North America that aren't, conventional dirt or otherwise. I do however find the Tapeta surface at GG to play fair from time to time.
John More than 1 year ago
Track Bias "smias" just retire the horse, he doesnt have it anymore, you can tell the spunk is not there, dont run him into the dust trying to get one more win !~ 'DO THE RIGHT THING SPAWR !
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Track bias is legit,but i agree it's time to retire him.He's done enough for them