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Updated on 01/18/2013 9:43AM
Santa Anita: Zenyatta sister Eblouissante returns at next level
By Brad Free
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.
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
Where's the video!! I demand a video!
I'm ready for your close up, Ebbie!
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?
Best of luck today, Ebby!!!
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!
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.
Gotta love this kind of Z-hype. 3/5 ML. Are you kidding? After tomorrow this bandwagon will be a lot emptier.
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.
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.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 2.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
- 3.Posted 12/08/2013 06:24PM
- 4.Posted 12/05/2013 04:54PM
- 5.Posted 12/07/2013 03:42PM