Amazombie's excellent California form carried over to Churchill Downs with a stirring victory in the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1). The 5-year-old son of Northern Afleet was making his first start outside of the Golden State.
Settling in fifth off a very hot pace, Mike Smith asked Amazombie to go after the leaders with a four-wide move coming into the stretch. Dueling with a game Force Freeze down the lane, Amazombie poked his head in front inside the sixteenth pole to win by a neck in 1:09.17 for the six furlongs.
“I feel very fortunate and very lucky," said winning trainer Bill Spawr, who will be 72 next month. "After he won the Ancient Title (a Grade 1 win on Oct. 8 at Santa Anita), we decided to send him here. That’s a (Breeders' Cup) ‘Win and You’re In’ race, and if it weren’t for the Ancient Title, we wouldn’t be here. There are no words to describe the feeling."
“When I got on him in the paddock, he took a big, deep breath and was cool, calm and collected," said Smith, Amazombie's regular rider. "I think he actually out-broke the field, but then he settled. I cut the corner with him and then got out. The thing I worry about with this horse is hitting the front too soon; he tends to wait (on horses).”
The victory, worth $810,000, boosted Amazombie's career earnings to $1,525,708. The bay has a 10-4-5 record in 23 lifetime starts.