Updated on 01/18/2013 10:43AM

Santa Anita: Zenyatta sister Eblouissante returns at next level

Shigeki Kikkawa
Based on a maiden win by more than four lengths, Eblouissante will be strongly favored Thursday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – One other-than, take two.

Eblouissante, Zenyatta’s half-sister and crushing maiden winner in her only start, resumes her career Thursday in a first-level allowance at Santa Anita, one month after she banged her hip on a receiving barn door at Betfair Hollywood Park and scratched 30 minutes out.

“She had a little swelling after she hit her hip, but it went away and she seems fine,” trainer John Shirreffs said. In fact, Eblouissante missed no training after the allowance-race scratch Dec. 15. She returned to the track the next day and worked four times since.

[SANTA ANITA: Get Thursday's past performances]

Based on a maiden win by more than four lengths (88 Beyer Speed Figure), Eblouissante will be strongly favored Thursday in the 1 1/16-mile race. Meanwhile, Shirreffs and owner-breeder Eric Kronfeld will try to stay realistic with a filly who has raced only once. It is easier said than done.

“It’s a little tough when it is Zenyatta’s sister. You think of all the possibilities,” Shirreffs said. “You have to keep your feet on the ground, right? And the horse has to prove it in the afternoon.”

A 4-year-old by Bernardini, Eblouissante was patiently prepared to make her career debut late in her 3-year-old year, same as Zenyatta.

Racing 1 1/16 miles first out, Eblouissante was rated by Corey Nakatani near the back and guided outside nearing the far turn.

She rallied in the clear, made the lead inside the eighth pole, and pulled away.

Eblouissante beat an ordinary field. Only one of her rivals has run back – fourth-place Belonging returned to finish second against maidens. It is not a knock on Eblouissante, but her competition will get tougher as she moves forward. Shirreffs believes Eblouissante also will improve, now that she knows what racing is all about.

“She had to go through all the steps,” he said. “She had to go over there, get saddled, and run. It’s something you can’t really do in the morning, gaining a piece of experience. She went to the next level of fitness and experience for a racehorse. As they progress, they have to keep better and better.”

Eblouissante faces four rivals Thursday, including Folk Dancer, a 9-for-37 veteran trained by Vladimir Cerin who is the only multiple winner in the field.

“I filled the race for” Eblouissante, Cerin said.

Sure, he did. Folk Dancer, who is entered for a $40,000 claiming price, might not win, but nine wins and $240,042 proves she is no slouch. She also has established form on the Santa Anita dirt track, where she is stabled. Three others in the field also have raced or trained at Santa Anita – Double Ante, Viva Carina, and Pink Blossom.

Eblouissante has never run over a track other than Hollywood.

Shirreffs was asked – does it matter? “Only if you don’t believe she can handle the dirt,” he said.

What does Shirreffs think?

“I think she can handle anything,” he said

Diane More than 1 year ago
Where's the video!! I demand a video!
Lisa More than 1 year ago
Nice race!!
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
I'm ready for your close up, Ebbie!
Jeff More than 1 year ago
I guess My Miss Aurelia is still being stabled in SoCal at Santa Anita. I posted earlier that the best fillies and mares are from the East coast. If Royal Delta and MMA are at Santa Anita and not in Florida, are their trainers (Mott/Asmussen) now in the West and just "wintering" there instead of Florida?
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Best of luck today, Ebby!!!
padamo510 More than 1 year ago
It always surprises me that some so-called "gamblers" seem to think they are obligated to beat a favorite.Of course, that does happen because it is, after all a "horse race", however, the folks who make the ML may actually be pretty good handicappers. That's why they got the job! To knock Eblouisssante simply because she is half to Zenyatta is just plain stupid and short-sighted. She has already shown she can run, and her Beyer was a good fig consideing it was herf first start Seems to me, considering the company, she should be the favorite...and the odds are just a number....and remember.."she can't read the odds board"! Why are so many nay-sayers...MEN!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, a lot wrong with that post. First of all, the Morning Line is set to what the oddsmaker thinks the odds will go off at, not what the odds should be. Second, the only way to make money consistently is to find vulnerable favorites. She is a bad bet at 3-5. However, I will be rooting for her, because it's a great story, and great for the sport. Or am I not allowed to because I'm a man?
John Hanley More than 1 year ago
Your post is spot on -- Rooting for her but ya gotta try and make money. First time against winners is always a big step up. She can probably handle it but....Also, your comment on ML is exactly right. Hate when people who don't know what they are talking about pop off, and worse yet, then make some sexist comment on top of it. Only intelligent comment in her post was that her Beyer was nice for first timer.
Jaime Cabarrocas More than 1 year ago
would it be sexist of me to say why are so many nay-naysayers...WOMEN?
Jade Sword More than 1 year ago
'So called gamblers, naysayers men'. Why don't you tell us what really happened to you? ;) I analyzed this race, and I would fade any horse with her signature. (if she can beat it, I'll be impressed). The horrible odds have nothing to do with it. But they do create value. Part of the oddsmakers job is to know the public. This horse hasn't earned any of the hype coming her way. It's just Zenyatta love.
ENAMMELD More than 1 year ago
Considering that the favorite only wins one out of three, one has to beat the favorite, or play the favorite in an exotics if one is fairly sure of it winning. I don't understand the men comment at all, as men have always made up the vast majority of of bettors. Seems I answered my own question inadvertently. We are aware horses can't read, so I can only conclude that you consider men, whatever you consider them.???????????????
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
I think she has her hands full in this race. No way I'd take 3/5. I'll go with Folk Dancer at 6-1, the longest shot on the board, for Vlad Cerin.
Jade Sword More than 1 year ago
Gotta love this kind of Z-hype. 3/5 ML. Are you kidding? After tomorrow this bandwagon will be a lot emptier.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Or more full.
Diane More than 1 year ago
Love it!!
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
Balance, Zenyatta and Eblouissante. What makes their dam so special? I love Kris S. He is also the sire of Rock Hard Ten (can't believe they allowed that name, though). Because of the Kris S. factor, I wish that Rock Hard Ten and Zenyatta had run long on turf. I always wondered if Zenyatta would have been spectacular on the grass. Given her love of Pro-Ride, I would have bet so.
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
Zenyatta's sire, Street Cry, also threw the winner of the Melbourne Cup on grass, so she had grass potential on BOTH sides of her pedigree.
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
they took very few chances with her----the biggest was her loss to the great one, BLAME, who was ripped off for HOY honors by those who had their mind made up before she was defeated in the BCC
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Blame was Zenyatta's Dare n Go.....And we know how "GREAT" he was.
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
blame ducked no one ever----his career was done at 4 but so what? she stayed home just about her entire career beating up on the same ones time after time!
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
You're not big on details are ya? Z came from 18+ back, through traffic, and only lost by a short head. The lousiest trip of her entire career. Blame had a flawless trip. Gomez said he didn't want a rematch because he knew how lucky he was that day. As for 'beating the same ones over and over,' she did only what she had to do and more when asked. And in the 2009 BCC she set the fastest closing quarter in BCC history. So get over yourself. She deserved HOY bigtime!
Dee Englehart More than 1 year ago
I think she'll run a huge race Thursday. The field is not that great for this race and I know she'll keep having to prove herself with better competition, but I think she has what it takes to be a champion.