Filly & Mare Sprint Division
TrainerThomas M. Amoss
BreederTri Eques Bloodstock, LLC
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.
- October 18, 2019
Trainer Tom Amoss never imagined the powerful role Serengeti Empress would play in his life, even helping him to grieve.
- October 17, 2019
This is the last of nine weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2 at Santa Anita.
- October 11, 2019
This is the eighth of nine weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2 at Santa Anita. For more information, please visit www.breederscup.com.