Amazombie awakens in Sunshine Millions Sprint
Sunday, January 30, 2011
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Amazombie continued the Jan. 29 roll for his sire Northern Afleet's with a blazing fast victory in the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita Park (VIDEO). Northern Afleet had two other winners on the Sunshine Millions program, held annually for Florida and California breds at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park. Aegean won the $200,000 Filly & Mare Sprint at Gulfstream, and Evening Jewel took the $300,000 Distaff at Santa Anita.

The six-furlong sprint was the stakes debut for 5-year-old Amazombie. He was in the middle of the pack of the eight horse field after the first quarter-mile in a lively 20.80 seconds. Cost of Freedom continued to set a torrid pace into the stretch, with five furlongs marked at 54.61. Amazombie was cutting into the lead with every stride, making the top spot in the final sixteenth of a mile. He showed his toughness as he won a three-way photo by a head over Apriority, with Cost of Freedom another head back.  The final time was 1:07.28

"This horse has really changed a lot and we’ve recognized how he’s developed," trainer Bill Spawr said afterward. "He’s grown up and matured. He’s learned how to relax.”

“Some horses, certain riders get along with," said Smith, who has been aboard Amazombie for all six of his victories. "I know this horse really well. He’s one of those horses that it doesn’t matter if he’s on the turf or dirt. The rail was something new today. I probably could’ve stayed down there and followed Cost of Freedom, but I knew the closers would be coming and we made them fan out a little bit, which helped.”

Owned by Spawr and Tom Sanford, Amazombie is now 6-3-2 in 15 starts, earning $308,708. He was bred in California by Gregg Anderson.