Eblouissante, the younger half-sister of champion
Zenyatta, is ready to return to the races. Off since extending her
record to 2-for-2 on January 17 in California, the 4-year-old daughter
of Bernardini was
one of seven fillies and mares entered in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000
84 Lumber Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.
The 1 1/8-mile Shuvee joins the Grade 1, $300,000 TVG Coaching
Club American Oaks in headlining Saturday’s 11-race card, and will be
run as race 9.
Eblouissante, whose name means “dazzling” in French, did not
make her debut until late in her 3-year-old season, posting an easy 4
¼-length victory going 1 1/16 miles
on Betfair Hollywood Park’s synthetic surface. Two months later, she
scored by 1 ¾ lengths at the same distance in an optional claimer at
Santa Anita Park, and has been training forwardly at Belmont Park since
her arrival from the West coast, most recently
breezing seven furlongs in 1:27.18 on July 14.
“After she arrived here she has started to fill out,” said
trainer John Shirreffs of Eblouissante, an imposing filly who stands
nearly 17 hands tall. “She has grown
a lot and has put on a significant amount of weight, so I’m really
happy with the way she has developed over the last month. She looks
strong. I think time is the most important ingredient in a horse’s
development. Their bodies need a chance to catch up.”
Eblouissante, who is also under consideration for an optional
claimer around two turns on July 22 at the Spa, drew post position 3 for
the Shuvee with Junior Alvarado
named to ride. She was listed at 4-1 on the morning line.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won last year’s Shuvee with Awesome
Maria, has entered Padua Stables’ Authenticity, the 7-5 morning-line
favorite. The 6-year-old mare, unraced
in 2012, is 2-2-1 in five starts this year for Pletcher, including a
victory in the Grade 2 La Troienne on May 3 at Churchill Downs and a
pair of seconds in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap at
Belmont Park and the Grade 3 Rampart at
“She’s been extremely consistent,” said Pletcher of Authencity,
who was cross-entered in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap. “She’s a very
straightforward mare to train;
push button. It’s a drop down from a Grade 1 but it doesn’t appear to
be an easy race if everyone shows up. We’re not anticipating they’re
going to give anything away at
Saratoga; they usually don’t.”
Authenticity drew post position 7 with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez aboard.
Drawing adjacent were the 1-2 finishers in the Grade 3 Allaire
DuPont Distaff on May 18 at Pimlico Race Course, with winner Summer
Applause in post position 6 and
Island directly inside.
Owned by Gillian S. Campbell, the 4-year-old Summer Applause won
the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap in March at Aqueduct Racetrack in her
first start for trainer Chad Brown
and next finished fourth in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at
“She’s training well,” said Brown of Summer Applause, who also
was cross-entered in the Delaware Handicap. The filly was listed as the
2-1 second choice on the morning
line for the Shuvee, with Javier Castellano named to ride.
Island, who won an
optional claimer at the Shuvee distance last summer, launched her
4-year-old campaign with a second in a turf allowance at Keeneland Race
Course prior to the DuPont. Most recently she finished
last of six over a sloppy track in the Mariensky overnight stakes at
Belmont for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.
At 10-1 on the morning line, the Phipps Stable color-bearer will be ridden by Jose Lezcano.
Rounding out the field are Flashy American, winner of the Iowa
Distaff at Prairie Meadows last time out; Moon Philly, fifth in the
DuPont, and Royal Lahaina, winner
of the Mariensky.