Amazombie shows the way in the Potrero Grande S.
Champion sprinter Amazombie provided plenty of thrills with his three-quarter length win in Saturday's $150,000 Potrero Grande S. (G2) at Santa Anita. In addition to the 6-year-old by Northern Afleet winning his first stake of 2012, he gave his regular rider Mike Smith his 5,000 career victory. Fittingly, Amazombie's first career graded stakes win came in last year's Potrero Grande, also with Smith aboard.
In his typical stalking style, Amazombie sat in second for a good part of the 6 1/2-furlongs. Smith angled his mount out into the stretch, collared front-running Roman Threat in final stages to edge away late. The final time was an excellent 1:14.16 on a fast track.
“I’m really just beside myself right now,” Smith said in the winner’s circle. “For it to happen on Amazombie is so fitting. Who could have drawn it up any better?”
“He’s back,” said trainer Bill Spawr, whose co-owner is Tom Sanford. “He (Smith) only let him run a quarter mile, that’s all he did.” Added Spawr, “Amazombie is stronger this year. He’s gained weight, but it was too much for the San Carlos (on Feb. 25, when he was third in his first start of 2012) going seven-eighths. I think now he’s at racing weight, what it should be.”
With the winner’s purse of $90,000, Amazombie’s lifetime earnings grew to $1,639,708 from a career record of 11-4-6 in 25 lifetime starts.
Spawr said his ultimate goal is a repeat win in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), which will be held on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.