Zenyatta’s half-sister doesn’t disappoint

In sports, being the sibling of a Hall of Famer is no guarantee you’ll be one, too. Just ask the Aaron brothers: Henry hit 755 home runs, kid brother Tommie 13.

In horse racing, many champions’ siblings try to follow in their footsteps. Seldom do they come close to the same level of achievement.

So, when champion Zenyatta’s 3-year-old half-sister, Eblouissante, made her career debut at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 16, it was hold-your-breath time. Adding to the intrigue, trainer John Shirreffs had put 45 recorded workouts into Eblouissante. That, my friends, is a lot before a horse’s first start.

Eblouissante debuted in a 1 1/16th-mile maiden special-weight route race, no easy task for a first-time starter to win going long. Jockey Corey Nakatani got the honor of the ride.

When I first saw Eblouissante in the post parade, she towered over her pony. She looked as big as Forego, up to now the biggest racehorse I’ve seen. No wonder Shirreffs couldn’t start her until late in her 3-year-old season; she needed to grow into herself.

When the race began, Eblouissante clearly emulated the running style of Zenyatta. She lagged well back early on and then rocketed to the lead by midstretch. She won by as many lengths as Nakatani pleased.

It was a fabulous debut for a filly who showed enormous potential. Credit Shirreffs for putting in the time and work necessary to have Eblouissante ready to win her first time out.

The pressure came, in large part, from the fact that Zenyatta won her first 19 starts before losing in her last by a head to Blame in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic. You can’t go undefeated without winning the first one.

Shirreffs, who also trained Zenyatta, made sure this debut wouldn’t be a clunker. Eblouissante’s next race probably will be a first-level allowance. Stakes races can wait until she is mentally good and ready.

■ COAST CASINOS QUALIFIER – Coast Casinos will host the first of four live money handicapping tournaments Nov. 30. The top two finishers will receive a free berth into the 2012 Horseplayer World Series.

You can play at any of Coast’s four local race books: Gold Coast, The Orleans, Sam’s Town or the Suncoast.

I have been an advocate of live-money tournaments for some time now. The closer the rules approximate real-life play, the better.

Live-money rules help the players and the host casino. In a live-money tournament, the players keep all of their profits. Their bankroll total becomes the means for keeping score. Thus, it’s possible for every player in the tourney to win money.

The host casino benefits from the high volume of money churned through the betting windows. That helps pay their expenses, and then some.

Richard Eng’s horse racing column is published Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at rich_eng@hotmail.com. Follow him on Twitter: @richeng4propick.

ad-high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL divisional playoffs
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL divisional playoffs.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football National Championship
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Monday’s college football national championship.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Wild Card playoffs
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL’s Wild Card playoff weekend.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 17
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week 17 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Bowls Week Three
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week three of the college bowl games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Bowls Week 2
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview the college football bowls.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 16
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 16 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Bowl Edition
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Las Vegas Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over their picks for the college bowl games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 15
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Las Vegas Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over their picks for week 15 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and TI sports book director Tony Nevill preview NFL Week 14.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 13
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 13 of the NFL regular season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 14 of the college football season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 13 of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 12 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for college football week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for NFL football week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 10 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 11
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 11 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 9 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 8 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Alan Berg go over their picks for NFL week 7.
TOP NEWS
ad-infeed_1x2_1
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like