Given a perfect stalking trip by his regular rider, Mike Smith, Amazombie, the second choice at 9-5, rallied to the lead in deep stretch and drew out to win by 1 ¼ lengths in a sparkling 1:08.65, fastest six furlongs of the meeting over Del Mar’s Polytrack surface.
The Factor, the even-money favorite, was second, a head in front of stablemate Capital Account, with Comma to the Top fourth and Don Tito fifth and last in the small field.
Amazombie, a son of Northern Afleet, was third in the Bing Crosby a year ago behind Euroears before taking the Ancient Title at Santa Anita and then the Breeders’ Cup Sprint to clinch the Eclipse Award. Tentative plans call for the horse to follow the same schedule this year.
Victory in the Crosby Stakes Sunday was Amazombie’s 12th in 27 lifetime starts and first money increased his earnings to $1,905,378. He returned $5.80, $2.60 and $2.10. The Factor, Del Mar’s 2011 Sprinter of the Meeting after winning the Pat O’Brien Stakes, paid $2.40 and $2.10, while Capital Account, like The Factor trained by Bob Baffert, paid $2.20 to show.