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Breeders Cup 2015
Kentucky Derby 2017

Eblouissante: It's Tough Being Zenyatta's Little Sister


Every time I see the John Shirreffs trained mare Eblouissante step out onto the track I think to myself, she looks so much like Ruffian. The long gracefulness of her stride to the nearly jet black coat, she is about as close a Ruffian reproduction as I have seen.

However, it is not the legend that is Ruffian which Eblouissante is being forced to live up to by the betting public, but rather big sister, Zenyatta. This was never more evident than when she came out of the gate in an Allowance race at Santa Anita Park her last time out. She was sent off as the 3-5 favorite against more experienced horses after coming off a seven month layoff. The prior race we saw her was in the Shuvee Handicap – Gr. 3 where she acted up in the gate, broke two front teeth and finished a dismal sixth. I don't really blame her for that, its horse racing and we have seen it happen to the most seasoned of thoroughbreds. The only drawback back to a race like that is it did nothing to help her stats.

Now, if you strip down the lineage and look at her for what she is, we have a very lightly raced five year old mare with a record of 4-2-1-0. Eblouissante is a horse who has had some success, she is a good race horse but not yet a great race horse and to be realistic, she may never be. Time will tell. But until then, we need to let her run her races, not her sister's. And how fair is it really to expect anything different? It's not fair to her, her connections or Zenyatta herself. Big sis worked very hard to accomplish champion status, why would we want to take that from her?

In short, love her for the big black beauty she is and wager accordingly based on her merits. Love her simply because she is...Eblouissante.

She really doesn't deserve anything less.

~Written by Jody Lawrence


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Older Comments about Eblouissante: It's Tough Being Zenyatta's Little Sister...

E's weighted @ 112#s for Apple Blossom... Close Hatches 121, Dreaming of Julia 117.
I didn't even mention Derby weekend at Epsom or St.Leger weekend at Doncaster. That was also just England. Go to France, and you have short meets at Deauville, Chantilly, Maison Laffitte and Longchamps that offer high quality racing.
Vic- I read that article, and the one thing they should have touched on more was a solution. They outline the lack of an identified Racing "Season", the lack of a Commissioner, etc. But the one thing they should have touched on more was the short successfull meets like Saratoga and Keeneland. THOSE are the Meets that need to be marketed. Those are the Royal ascot's, Dubai Carnival's of North America. In England, at Newmarket they run the Guineas Festival for 2 days. Ascot run the Royal Meet for a week, Goodwood runs Glorious Goodwood meet for a week, Then back to Royal Ascot for the Champion day weekend. Short well organized events with top class racing the whole way. They market in Europe with Class, Elegance, and deliver with quality. In North America you have dozens of tracks running offering mediocre quality racing on average, and aside from the successes on K.Derby weekend, or at Saratoga, Keeneland with their impressive short meets, that is all we have to offer until the Breeders cup in regards to quality.
racing is in trouble, we all know that, and here are some logical reasons why. http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/10472590/the-divergence-two-great-sports
those who live the past, all the time, just amaze me. IT IS SO MUCH EASIER because you KNOW everything. The present is the tough and natural place to reside
No, mk. She only raced against one colt, and then you know, she died, so now a bunch of little girls and middle aged women can be sad all over again and it's not anywhere near the first week in July, but thanks. Always so appreciated.
She's brilliant as is and not b/c she has a famous sister. The same with Samantha Nicole. I think she will do well for her racing career.
don't think she ever did
Sorry, but did Ruffian ever defeat any Grade 1 colts?
Sorry, but Ruffian would be a tougher standard to live up to..
A very well put article. We die-hard Zenyatta fans will always be looking for a horse even REMOTELY related to her to be as brilliant as she was which is unfair and will always result in being disappointed. I, for one, have FINALLY accepted Ebby for just who she is and nothing more, nothing less and plan to share this article with my fellow Zenyatta fans who still can't seem to "get there".
Jody, you nailed it. She is NOT Zenyatta. Yes, there are a LOT of similarities, but she's her own self. Her race was a positive one in all aspects, and hopefully she will race again soon, which will help her with her confidence. However, trying to find races for her distance has been difficult. Let her be her dazzling self, and love her for her attributes.
There is a filly that just ran yesterday, who in physique reminds me of ruffian....Fiftyshadesofgold. Won yesterday, 3 wins in 4 stars, taking a horrendous trip that injured her, to cause her to lose. Really hoping she makes it to the Oaks. Ebby, IMO should not be compared to Zenyatta. I don't think she would have taken so long to race had it not been for her sister. And I don't think we would have seen her strangled tot he back of the pack if it weren't for comparisons to Zenyatta. IMO, she looked far more natural a few days ago, when allowed to show some early speed, than she did when she was restrained to come from behind. Smith did not ride her like Zenyatta's sister, he rode her like any other horse, and IMO, while she lost, it was her best performance yet. She's a nice filly, but she's not Zenyatta. People need to stop acting like she is. That mentality has likely wasted a good bit of her career away and gave her pretty much a fake image. She is her own horse, and maybe if she continues to get treated like that, we'll see her in some stakes races.
Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!
She should not be compared to her sister it's so unfair to her.
grass or polly. she how she fits there, but keep her the level she is and move her up over time.the public just bets the crap out of her thinkiing she will just walk over everyone. and then are made when she doesn't give her a chance a place her where she belongs and give the horse time.
I like this article. She's not great, no. She's not fast enough on paper. But, she's not bad. She's a solid racehorse. Allowance-LS is where she belongs, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I like Sullivan's suggestion to run her on the grass .... that could be interesting (graded?).
It's going to be tough being Rachel's little sister Worse will be being the off spring of either or off spring of the other champs, Black Caviar and Frankel

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