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She was already a star of YouTube, and with nearly 3,000 likes on her Facebook page at last look, I think it’s safe to say that Eblouissante was one of the most popular first-time starters in the history of the sport. So when the dark bay daughter of Bernardini made her career debut in a maiden special weight today at Betfair Hollywood Park, suffice it to say it would be hard for her to live up to the hype, but somehow, she did just that.


Almost five years to the day since Zenyatta rolled home, in the first of many scintillating last-to-first victories, in her debut at Hollywood on November 22, 2007, Eblouissante looked very much like her older sister with a powerful rally down the Hollywood Park stretch to win going away by 4 1/4 lengths. Ridden by Corey Nakatani, the big, dark colored filly was content to sit on the rail and well off the early lead, before angling out for running room on the turn. From there she looked the part of a 7-5 favorite as she cruised right up to the front runner early in the lane, and powered home to be an easy winner in 1:45.27 for the 1 1/16 miles.


Eblouissante has made headlines since she landed in John Shirreffs' stable some 18 months ago. Posting her first breeze at Hollywood about a month later, the half-sister to the great Zenyatta has been watched closely ever since. Shirreffs, who also trained her famous older sister, considered running her as a juvenile, but the patient conditioner did not rush her, and her numerous fans would also need to be patient for her debut. 43 more published workout would come and go, with a few notable gaps in training, before she would throw down a fast :59 1/5, five furlong work on Sunday. She was now finally deemed ready to go.


While her soon to be Hall of Fame older sister was by Street Cry, Eblouissante is by one of the most popular young sires in the nation, Bernardini. The three-year-old filly runs for her breeder, Eric Kronfeld. Zenyatta and Eblouissante are both daughters of the 2008 Broodmare of the Year, Vertigineux. A daughter of Kris S., Zenyatta was not the only top runner produced by the 17-year-old mare. Before Big Z, there was Balance, who was a multiple grade 1 winner and million dollar earner in her own right. It should be noted that Balance also was an impressive winner of her first lifetime start.


And now so too has Eblouissante, winning her career debut today in dazzling style. Where she goes from here is yet to be determined, but one thing I am very sure … the world will be watching!



Photo courtesy of Cecilia Gustavsson Felix Photography





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Older Comments about Eblouissante!...

She made my heart pound more than her fair share. More stressful than any presidential election.
nightmare? Funny description of a horse that lost once by about 2 to 3 inches.
Very nice horse, a much, much better mover then Z. Z was a nightmare to watch. This horse - impressive...
Very excited about her. Not to mention the fact that she is gorgeous, and big!
Thrilled, and hopeful...always ready for a new star..
Fun to watch! I can't believe how much she resembles Zenyatta on the track.
Absolutely fabulous! She brought me back to Ruffian.
It's always nice to win first time out.
Impressive, especially seeing as she gave up so much ground on the far turn. Nice pic, too.
She was a monster. Picked off horses faster than I could think!
Certainly won with ease. I'll wait until she races against graded competition though to pass judgement.
How cool was that!?!
I think she is your horse of the week. Winning first time out against a good field is much harder than she made it look.
But where is the dance?
Looks like she has the Zenyatta ears.
You may be right, Andrew!
So happy for Eric Kronfeld, and of course for John! Eric was famous for not attending any of Zenyatta's races in person, as he was superstitious that if she ever lost, it would be his fault! He reportedly was on hand today for Ebby's debut and he has to be one very happy man! She looked so professional in the way she ran that race....she did it her way....not dead last but comfortably back and saving ground at the rail before kicking out to get clear for her final run. Wow! I'm blown away and so happy for all the connections. I bet even the Mosses were not unappy to lose against Ebby!
I see a ZATT's Star of the Week in her future!

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