Edit: For the diehard handicappers for Saturday, here’s the Brisnet PPs for the race! Critique Ebby away!
It’s not often you cope with 3-5 odds on a debuting three-year-old, but in the case of Eblouissante, those odds are sensible and possibly decent considering how much skill the near-black filly displayed in her maiden-winning effort last time out at Hollywood Park. I want to save most of this conversation for my upcoming video (which I assure you, is in the pipeline!), but to simplify the tone “Ebby” will have on Saturday’s card for her second start: E is for epic.
By now, you’ve probably know all about how well her first-ever race went. Accepting the fact she is not and likely will never be as good as her big half sis Zenyatta, she is still an incredible specimen and looked like a pro handling her first field over 1 1/16 miles. She looked totally “Zen” in her far turn move, eating up ground in just a few strides and was clear of the field mid-homestretch with little to no encouragement from jockey Corey Nakatani. Now that we’ve gotten a taste, what can we expect from her second start in an allowance optional claimer this Saturday? Let’s take a look at her competition:
1) Glowing Spirit [BRZ] (Crimson Tide x Deusa de Amor [BRZ], by Spend a Buck) - The 4-year-old filly trained by A. C. Avila missed a Fairplex stakes win this year by a head and has 1 win this year from 12 starts, which was a 10-furlong turf allowance back in January at Santa Anita. Edwin Maldonado rides and she’s claimable for $40,000.
2) The Only Key [GB] (Key of Luck x Sierra Virgen, by Stack) - Winless in 2 outings this year, the 6-year-old mare makes her 3rd North American start, last out running a stale 4th in a race similar to this one. Victor Espinoza rides this optional claimer.
4) Include the Cat (Include x Cat Be Quick, by Tactical Cat) - Winless in 6 races this year, the career claimer hopes to do better than back-to-back place performances in her last 2 Hollywood starts. The 5-year-old gets Garrett Gomez.
5) Toomanytomatoes (Downtown Seattle x Toomanytomorrows, by French Deputy) - With 3 wins in 6 starts this year, the only other non-claimer in the race is also the only other sophomore and legitimate challenger. She’s 3-for-3 at Hollywood and was the winner of a mile turf allowance last out. Rafael Bejarano will be in the irons.
Numbers-wise, Toomanytomatoes and Eblouissante are on the same playing field. Obviously, you will get a little better value going with the former, but Eblouissante is the towering class of the field examining her effortless win and champion pedigree. I see this race as little more than a public workout for Ebby, who will use this as a [likely] last step toward a stakes debut.