Goldikova attempted to become the first horse in history to win four consecutive BC Mile races, but finished third last year. Most of the repeat scores have come on the grass,
Amazombie is working with regular rider Mike Smith to repeat his BC Sprint victory following the recent fourth-place finish in defense of his Santa Anita Sprint Championship score at six furlongs.
“He was pretty tired right after the race, but he’s bounced back well,” trainer Bill Spawr told the Daily Racing Form. “He only got beat a length and one-quarter and I think the race will help him a lot. The track here is so tiring right now.”
Spawr, as have many other trainers based at Santa Anita, voiced his concern about the racetrack being much slower than usual this fall.
Amazombie, the 6-year-old gelding, captured last year’s Sprint by a neck over Force Freeze at Churchill Downs, covering the six furlongs in 1:09.
The only horse to repeat in the Sprint was Midnight Lute, who won his first in ’07 by 4 ¾ lengths over a sloppy Monmouth Park surface. In ’08, the son of Real Quiet triumphed by 1 ¾ lengths despite breaking slowly at Santa Anita when the main track was a synthetic surface.
The only other runner aiming for a repeat victory in the same race this year is Royal Delta, who captured the ’11 BC Ladies’ Classic by 2 ½ lengths over It’s Tricky, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50 3/5 over a good surface in Louisville.
The 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker has won three graded stakes this year, including the Beldame Invitational by 9 ¾ lengths at Belmont. He was second in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga.
Bayakoa is only double winner of the Ladies Classic, triumphing in ’89 at Gulfstream Park and ’90 at Belmont Park when the race was known as the Distaff.
The ’12 Ladies’ Classic field should be a strong one. “It’s shaping up as one of the greatest editions in recent memory,” said trainer Chad Brown, whose unbeaten Awesome Feather is among the top contenders.
The unbeaten 4-year-old daughter of Awesome of Course won the BC Juvenile Fillies in ’10. She has captured 10 races, including a pair this year, the same number as last year when she wasn’t entered in any BC races.
Zenyatta captured two BC races, but not the same one. In ’08 she won the Ladies’ Classic and the next year she beat the boys in the Classic.
The daughter of Street Cry was voted ’10 Horse of the Year despites finishing second to Blame in the Classic, beaten a head. She retired with a record of 19-1-0 in 20 races.
With the likes of Flat Out, Ron the Greek, and To Honor and Serve all pointing toward the Classic, trainer Bill Mott will be attempting to win the race for the second straight year, having pulled off an upset last year with Drosselmeyer.
Only once, when Jay Robbins sent out Tiznow to victories in ’00 and ‘01, has a trainer won the Classic in consecutive years. No trainer has ever won it in consecutive years with different horses.
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