there was any doubt before, Amazombie now reigns as the west coast's top 2012 Breeders' Cup Sprint candidate with the recent retirement of The Factor.
the 2011 Eclipse Award Champion Male Sprinter, worked 6 furlongs in 1:13.20 on
Saturday at Santa Anita Park in preparation for the October 6 Santa Anita Sprint
Championship. The work was the co-fastest of 12 at the distance.
The field for the Sprint Championship is expected to include the speedy
3-year-old filly Reneesgotzip who won the 6 furlong CERF Stakes at Del Mar
6-year-old Northern Afleet gelding out of an In Excess mare, Amazombie is the
classic rags-to-riches story. Bought as part of a deal with another
yearling for a total of $5000, he didn't really get rolling for trainer Bill Spawr and Thomas Sanford until his 5-year-old season. In fact, if you had
$62,500 as recently as December 2010, you could have claimed him.
won 3 of 6 in 2011 with a trio of third place finishes, capping his
championship season with a Breeders' Cup Sprint win. So far this year
he is 2 for 4, with his losses- a 2nd and a 3rd- coming
in 7 furlong races. He has victories at 6½
and 6 furlongs. After beginning the year
with a third place finish in the G2 San Carlos at Santa Anita, he returned to
the winner’s circle in the Potrero Grande in April, teaming up for jockey Mike
Smith’s 5000th career win.
second place finish to Shackleford in the Churchill Downs Stakes on the Derby
undercard was next, and in August he returned to a distance more to his liking,
taking the 6 furlong GI Bing Crosby in convincing fashion. Mike Smith said then that Amazombie was “bigger,
stronger, and even better than last year,” and it certainly looked that way as
he blew past a dueling Comma to the Top and The Factor to win easily.
appears to have rounded into top form in time to defend his titles in both the Santa Anita Sprint Championship and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. In-the-money in 23 of 27 lifetime starts (and
17 of 17 since August 2010), Amazombie is a horse that always shows up. With a record of 5 wins in 7 tries at the six
furlong distance, he is a force to be reckoned with in the Sprint Championship,
and a serious contender in the BC Sprint this year in his own backyard.