CONTENDERS

Serengeti Empress

Longines Distaff Division

Horses speak to those who listen and Serengeti Empress made a profound statement prior to her Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) victory. Her connections were willing to bypass the race after a disappointing performance in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), but she displayed such enthusiasm during training that they reconsidered.

Trainer Tom Amoss wanted to show her fans that she was race ready, so he made a video for social media. Her rider misunderstood the instructions and took her an extra lap around Churchill Downs to Amoss’ surprise and later delight.

"She talked to me that morning and said, 'I'm going to be OK,'” Amoss said at the post-Kentucky Oaks news conference. “If my exercise rider hadn't made that mistake, I was getting ready to call (owner Joel Politi) and say, ‘Let’s just leave the race alone.’ But when she came back around and looked as good as she did, I changed my mind, and we took it day to day from there." 

Since winning the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks, Serengeti Empress has cut back in distance, finishing second in the one-mile Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont June 8 and second in the seven-furlong Test Stakes (G1) Aug. 3 after a hard-fought battle with Covfefe. With her versatility, her connections need to decide between the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) or the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). 

Politi developed his love of racing through his father, a physician who dabbled with inexpensive racehorses on the West Virginia circuit. He named Serengeti Empress’ as a nod to the lyrics of the 1981 hit song “Africa.” 

Politi purchased her at the 2017 Keeneland September yearling sale for $70,000. Tri Eques Bloodstock, a small partnership that includes Val Henson, a maintenance employee at Taylor Made Farm near Lexington, Kentucky, bred her and sold her for $25,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November mixed sale.

Lifetime Stats

Earnings
$
Breeders’ Cup Winner
2018 Pocahontas S.
28
2019 Graded Stakes Points

Previous Races

ReplayDateRaceTrackGradeFinish
September 21, 2019Cotillion S.PARX RACING16
August 03, 2019Longines Test S.SARATOGA12
June 08, 2019Acorn S.BELMONT PARK12
May 03, 2019Longines Kentucky OaksCHURCHILL DOWNS11
March 23, 2019Twinspires.com Fair Grounds OaksFAIR GROUNDS27
February 16, 2019Rachel Alexandra S.FAIR GROUNDS21
ReplayDateRaceTrackGradeFinish
November 02, 2018Tito's Handmade Vodka Breeders' Cup Juvenile FilliesCHURCHILL DOWNS17
September 15, 2018Pocahontas S.CHURCHILL DOWNS21
August 19, 2018Ellis Park Debutante S.ELLIS PARK 1
July 20, 2018Schuylerville S.SARATOGA34
July 04, 2018 INDIANA GRAND RACE COURSE 1

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