EBLOUISSANTE, HALF SISTER TO MIGHTY ZENYATTA, MAKES SECOND START IN THURSDAY’S MOJAVE RIVER

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 13, 2013)—The eyes of the racing world could well be on Santa Anita Thursday, as Eblouissante (pronounced Eh-blue-ee-sant), a 4-year-old half-sister to the mighty Zenyatta, makes her second career start in the $58,000 Mojave River Purse, a first condition allowance at 1 1/16 miles that has been carded as the seventh race.

Jet-black in color, Eblouissante, who like Zenyatta, is trained by John Shirreffs, blitzed seven rivals in her maiden special weight debut on Nov. 16 at Betfair Hollywood Park, winning from well off the pace by 4 ¼ lengths, while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.20.

“I worked her before I rode her,” said Corey Nakatani, who retains the mount on the daughter of Bernardini on Thursday. “She’s a special filly. Hopefully, she comes back and runs like she did in her first race. I’m sure John has her spot-on, so I’m looking forward to riding her again.

Her race on Nov. 16 earned her a Beyer Speed figure of 88 and although she was impressive in her run to the wire, she was equally impressive in the way she ran out past the wire—full of run and seemingly in a different class from her competition.

“It felt so easy it was scary,” said Nakatani following the debut score. “She was actually more alert and into the race than we actually thought she would be. Turning for home, I let her out a little bit to get to the position where I wanted to be where she can kick and do her thing.

“She did everything I asked. Anytime you get to ride a sister to a champion like Zenyatta, it’s a pleasure, especially at this stage in my career.”

The Mojave River Purse has been slotted as the seventh race on an eight-race program on Thursday. First post time is 1 p.m.

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