(from Santa Anita notes)
Zambezi Sun, sixth as the 9-10 favorite in his U.S. debut Feb. 22 in the San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT), will wheel back in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 7, Bobby Frankel said Wednesday morning.
“There’s nothing wrong with him,” Frankel said of the French group I winner he trains for Juddmonte Farms. “He didn’t run hard; he’s OK. I just got him fit enough to run (in the Big ‘Cap).”
Making his first start since the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in France last Oct. 5, Zambezi Sun was rank in the San Luis Obispo at 1 1/2 miles on turf. He stalked in second place while pulling hard, challenging for the lead in the stretch before being overtaken. He was beaten only three lengths by victorious Spring House.
Asked right after the race how tough it was to rate Zambezi Sun in the San Luis Obispo, jockey Garrett Gomez was silent while displaying the palm of his left hand, which had a red line imprinted across it from clutching the rein.
The $1-million Santa Anita Handicap at 1 1/4 miles over the Pro-Ride racing surface is shaping up as one of the most competitive in recent years. There are six grade or group I winners at the ready. Among the probable horses for the 72nd Big ‘Cap are Champs Elysees, Colonel John , Court Vision , Cowboy Cal , Einstein , Tiago and Zambezi Sun.
Frankel was non-committal on Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Mast Track.