Update: Eblouissante was scratched due to a minor injury less than 30 minutes to post time.
As the little sister to the great Zenyatta, the three-year-old filly Eblouissante has big horseshoes to fill, and she gets her second test on Saturday afternoon at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Trainer John Shirreffs, who saddled Zenyatta to 19 consecutive wins before running second to Blame in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic, trains the promising filly, who was a smashing maiden winner in her debut on Nov. 16.
She showed the same late running style as her big sister in her unveiling, coming with a three-wide run in the stretch, taking command inside the final furlong and drawing off to win by four-and-a-half lengths with jockey Corey Nakatani along for the ride.
Shirreffs is a conservative trainer, and like he did with Zenyatta, he will start the filly in a first-level-allowance optional-claiming-race before heading to stakes company.
Zenyatta broke her maiden in her debut on Nov. 22, 2007 and came back to win a first-level-allowance race on Dec. 15. She then made her stakes debut a winning one by taking the El Encino Stakes on Jan. 13 in Santa Anita.
It looks like déjà vu all over again as Eblouissante will also take on winners for the first time on Dec. 15, and if all goes well she will be pointed toward the La Canada Stakes in Santa Anita on Jan. 20.
The filly is the 6-5 morning line favorite, and with all of the attention she has already received, the price is likely going to be much shorter.
She does appear to have much more upside potential than the four foes that will try to beat her. The second choice on the morning line is Include the Cat (3-1), who is winless in six starts this year.
Glowing Spirit (7-2) showed good early speed in her last start before weakening to finish third at this level. She has won just two of her 18 career starts.
Completing the field are The Only Key (8-1), who has not started since July, and Toomanytomatoes (4-1), who is coming off a win against state bred allowance optional claimers on turf on Nov. 11.
Hollywood Park offers two outstanding stakes on Saturday’s card, the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup and the $750,000 Cashcall Futurity.
The Cashcall Futurity is the final major race for juveniles this year, and likely will produce a couple of early contenders for next spring’s Kentucky Derby.
The Todd Pletcher trained Violence ships in from New York and is the 7-2 morning line favorite. The colt is perfect in two starts this year, last out taking the Nashua at Aqueduct.
He’s Had Enough (9-2) will be sent out by the same connections as last year’s Kentucky Derby winner I’ll have Another. Trainer Doug O’Neill will saddle the colt, who was beaten just a head in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in his last outing.
Hall of fame trainer Bob Baffert will send out four runners including Hollywood Prevue winner Really Mr Greely (5-1).
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