Amazombie is the antithesis of a typical sprinter. He’s not speed
crazy. But the champion sprinter of 2011 can turn on the after-burners
if need be.
So says his jockey, Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who is looking
forward to reuniting with the California-bred son of Northern Afleet in
the inaugural Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 6.
“He’s always been a really good gate horse,” Smith said. “As
far as a horse breaking quick or not, it’s never a plan to break slow.
You might want to ease him back after you break, but horses pretty much
break how they break. He just happened to break extremely fast (in the
Potrero Grande Stakes last April) and the two outside horses started to
out-quick him and I was able to ease back, tap on the brakes and get to
the outside pretty quick, so it worked out in that situation.”
Since the Potrero Grande, Amazombie was second in Grade II
Churchill Downs Stakes behind Shackleford and won the Grade I Bing
Crosby at Del Mar on July 29.
“The horse is doing well. He looks great,” Smith continued. “I
was at the barn the other morning and you can’t look any better than he
“He breaks well from the gate,” confirmed trainer Bill Spawr,
who owns Amazombie with Tom Sanford. “He’s fast out of there. Mike has
to take him back. He’s really quick out of there. In fact, the first
jump, he’s always in front. He’s very good right now.”
Spawr plans to give the 6-year-old bay gelding his final major work
Saturday at six furlongs.