media sites have been buzzing for months. She already has her own
Facebook page. Now the time is at hand; Zenyatta’s half-sister is
ready to make her debut in Friday’s fourth race at Betfair Hollywood Park.
(pronounced a-bloo-e-sahn), by Bernardini out of the prolific broodmare
has been in training more than a year and has dozens of published
workouts. Such a long preparation time might sound alarm bells to some,
but not to those who know trainer John Shirreffs, a master of patience.
you care anything about your horse, you stop and give them time,” said
Shirreffs, who also trained Zenyatta throughout her career. “Then you
start over again, you don’t just pick up where you left off. It’s a
matter of letting the filly grow and develop. Zenyatta was unique in that
she grew into the horse she became. She started out one way and grew and
the comparisons with Zenyatta come with the territory. “Obviously, there
are a lot of similarities, a lot,” emphasized Shirreffs. “She’s almost
like having Zenyatta in the barn because they’re so much alike. As far as
characteristics, both like to hold their head up high and are really into
what’s going on around them. Both are imposing fillies and both are big
added that “Ebby,” as she’s called around the barn, “looks a lot like her,
except she’s missing Zenyatta’s white markings on her head. We don’t know
what her style is, so we’ll have to wait and see.” Shirreffs wanted to
make it clear, though, that “she’s her own horse. She’s not Zenyatta.”
why Eblouissante starts out at a mile and one-sixteenth as opposed to Zenyatta,
who graduated first time out (Nov. 22, 2007 at Betfair Hollywood Park) at 6 1-2
furlongs, Shirreffs explained that “up until her last work, she didn’t show a
lot of speed in her workouts, so we thought we’d go long with her.”
intrigue to the race is the presence of Belonging, who races for Jerry and Ann
Moss, owners of Zenyatta. Eblouissante is owned by Eric Kronfeld, who is
scheduled to be on hand for her debut. Kronfeld bred both Zenyatta and
Eblouissante under the stable name Maverick Productions, Ltd.
Eblouissant runs anything like her pedigree and name (Eblouissante is French
for “brilliant”), racing fans are in for a treat Friday.