If success over the unique downhill turf course at Santa Anita Park is a precursor to success in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT), Ambitious Brew should have some sort of advantage in the 6 1/2-furlong race.
A 4-year-old gelding who is trained by Los Alamitos-based Martin Jones for his California breeder, Pamela Zeibarth, Ambitious Brew has raced four times down the hill at the Turf Sprint distance, resulting in three wins and a second. Overall, Ambitious Brew has shown a tremendous desire to win, having never finished worse than 1 1/2 lengths back en route to four wins and four seconds from as many starts. He has earned $247,920.
Ambitious Brew is a 12-1 morning-line shot who will break from post 5 under Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who has been aboard in all but one of the gelding's starts.
Ziebarth, who has a successful track record with her homebreds, said Ambitious Brew has a strong will to win. "He just wants to do it; he wants to win," she said following the Oct. 28 post-position draw.
In his previous start, Ambitious Brew had taken the lead in the stretch before begin caught late to lose by a nose to Home Run Kitten.
Ambitious Brew is at his best when he gets takes back early in a race, needing a target to bring out his best form.
"The biggest concern is him getting out to a lead too early," Ziebarth said. "When he gets in front he thinks he has won."
Ziebarth is following in a rich family tradition of breeding and racing. She has about 15 broodmares kept at Columbiana Farm in Central Kentucky, with other horses, including Tizbud , the sire of Ambitious Brew, at Harris Farms in California.
In partnership with Michael Cooper, Ziebarth's mother, Cecilia Straub-Rubens, bred and raced the incomparable Tiznow and died at age 83 three days after that horse won the first of two Breeders' Cup Classics (gr. I) in 2000. Ziebarth took over her mother's partnership interest in Tiznow and other horses upon her mother's death.