While the focus is on Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Amazombie and his
scheduled 2012 debut in Saturday’s Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes, others
in the field of eight going six furlongs for a guaranteed purse of
$150,000 are on the back burner, relatively speaking.
Two such steeds are Euroears and M One Rifle, like Amazombie
each a Grade I winner. Euroears, who will be retired after the Palos
Verdes to stand at stud in Oklahoma, won the Grade I Bing Crosby at Del
Mar last July, while M One Rifle captured the Grade I Malibu Stakes in
Euroears drew the outside post in a field of eight and Bob
Baffert is pleased with the draw for the 8-year-old Langfuhr horse, who
was ninth and last in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint after breaking from the
No. 1 post. He was bothered at the start finishing last of eight in the
Grade I Vosburgh Invitational last Oct. 1 before winning the Bing
“I think he’s got a good post,” Baffert said of Euroears, a
millionaire with 10 wins from 22 starts. “It just takes him a couple
jumps to get going.
“He’s been wiped out in a couple races so we’ll see what happens.
He likes this track but there’s a lot of speed in the race, a ton of
speed, but he’s pretty speedy himself. It’s a big plus being on the
outside as opposed to leaving from the rail.”
In 17 career starts, M One Rifle has competed in stakes races 13
times, winning three. The son of One Man Army finished third in the
Grade III Vernon O. Underwood at Hollywood Park last out on Nov. 26, but
has two bullet works on his tab since that race.
M One Rifle drew the rail and the weather forecast calls for a
70 percent chance of rain on Saturday, but neither caused Bruce Headley
to lose any sleep, even though M One Rifle has never raced on an off
“Runners can run on anything,” the trainer said. “We’re all set
to go. We’ve been pointing to the Palos Verdes since the date for the
race was announced.”
The field for the Palos Verdes: M One Rifle, Joe Talamo, 6-1;
Amazombie, Mike Smith, 9-5; Galientos, Corey Nakatani, 12-1; Mensa Heat,
Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Frumious, Antonio Castanon, 8-1; Canonize, Victor
Espinoza, 20-1; Courtside, Joel Rosario, 9-2; and Euroears, Martin
With rain forecast for Saturday and Bill Spawr on record as
saying he won’t run Amazombie on a sealed race track, the trainer has
nominated the 2011 Eclipse Award champion sprinter to the $100,000
Sensational Star Stakes for California-breds at about 6 ½ furlongs on
turf on Jan. 28.
Amazombie was second by a half-length as the 13-10 favorite in
last year’s Sensational Star, and has four wins, three seconds and two
thirds in 12 career turf starts, including one on Santa Anita’s unique
downhill course at the Sensational Star distance.
“Amazombie is ready to run and I want to run,” Spawr said Friday morning, “but it depends on the weather and track conditions.”