THE EMPRESS REIGNS WITH A ROYAL RUN AT OAKLAWN
For those who are curious as to just how good Serengeti Empress is…take a look at her latest run in the Azeri Stakes on March 14.
Coming in to this grade 2 mile and a sixteenth jaunt over the Arkansas dirt at Oaklawn Park, the 2019 Kentucky Oaks champ was eager to avenge. Her four-year old debut had been a “one that got away” affair at Sam Houston Park on January 26. Against virtually the same stellar field, the Empress was beaten a half length after leading virtually every step of the way. Full of heart as always, the Azeri could provide redemption for this fantastically fast female.
As the runners lined up, Empress conditioner Tom Amoss had instructed first time rider Joe Talamo with the plan. With a runner like Serengeti Empress, it is really quite simple, flick the switch early and let the light shine.
Breaking in her usual rapid fashion, this daughter of Alternation quickly flew to the front. A quick wave of the scepter saw her leading by three lengths after a solid opening quarter mile (23.33) and widen the lead after quickening the pace through the half mile (46.49). With her crown firmly affixed, Serengeti Empress continued to rule as she opened up by 7 lengths heading into the stretch.
Any questions about whether she would be caught were quickly answered. Powering through the final furlong firmly to task, the Empress refused to relinquish the throne. Maintaining her focus, this Amoss trained prize reminded us the run is what creates the royalty.
In Tudor-like fashion, Serengeti Empress galloped through the wire an easy 6 ¼ lengths ahead of the rest. The gate to wire domination left little doubt about her abilities as a ruling race horse.
“She ran a great race,” says Amoss. “We were rooting really hard for this type of performance and she delivered. We took it to them early.”
The grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park on April 18 is the next likely spot for the Empress. Can her reign as one of the top runners in racing continue? …Watch the Azeri Stakes and then decide…