If the Grade I, $750,000 CashCall Futurity and the Grade II, $250,000
Hollywood Turf Cup are the main courses on Saturday’s Betfair Hollywood
Park card, then the return of Zenyattta’s little sister, Eblouissante,
in the fourth race – a $48,000 optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles over
Cushion Track – is a gourmet appetizer.
The nearly black daughter of Bernardini and Vertigineux, who
produced 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta and multiple Grade I winner
Balance, made her long awaited debut Nov. 16 and didn’t disappoint.
Replicating Zenyatta’s patented stretch run, Eblouissante gathered steam
into the far turn, swung out for clear sailing and drew away to win by 4
¼ lengths under jockey Corey Nakatani.
Asked whether she has matured mentally or physically out of the race, trainer John Shirreffs said it’s a little early to say.
“She’s a little more alert, you might say,” said Shirreffs, who also
conditioned Zenyatta. “The race woke her up a little. I haven’t
really done much with her since the race. She breezed once and we’ve
just tried to get her to settle down into a nice, calm routine. She’s
been eating fine and there haven’t been any problems.”
Shirreffs indicated that owner-breeder Eric Kronfeld and a small group of friends will be flying in to see the race.
Eblouissante resides in the same stall occupied by Zenyatta throughout her career.