De Seroux Pointing Azeri for Vanity Handicap

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Trainer Laura de Seroux was still in the clouds while going through her training routine at Hollywood Park Sunday morning.

Wearing a jacket with the words "Azeri, Horse of the Year," de Seroux said that she was "relieved, elated, all of the above" after Azeri recorded an authoritative three-length victory in the $211,800 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Saturday.

"Physically, she whinnied out of the receiving barn, pranced to her stall and dove into her hay net," said de Seroux of the 5-year-old mare, who was shipped back to her training base at San Luis Rey Downs Saturday night. "She likes to wake up in her own bed," explained de Seroux.

Azeri scored her ninth straight victory under high weight of 125 pounds as the 1-to-5 favorite under Mike Smith to become the first repeat winner in the Milady since champion Paseana in 1993.

"The Vanity is what I'd like next," de Seroux said. The $250,000 Vanity Handicap for fillies and mares is contested at 1 1/8 mile at Hollywood June 21.

The trainer said she will watch Azeri closely during the next week and confer with owner Michael Paulson before making a final decision.

Azeri won the Vanity last year by three lengths under 125 pounds. The last horse to repeat in the Vanity was It's In the Air in 1980.

Azeri's first race against males in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 13 would be under consideration if all goes smoothly through the Vanity.