|The Blazin Man Prevails in the
$19,800 Champion Forest Stakes at SHRP
October 9, 2004) - The Blazin Man in his second race off a layoff,
was much the best tonight as he captured the $19,800 Champion Forest
Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park.
Trained by Eloy Gonzalez for The Dirty Old Men Syndicate of Alamo,
Texas, the 6-year-old son of Heza Fast Man, won two stakes last
year and finished third in the JEH Stallion Stakes on November 11
at Lone Star Park. His connections gave him a break and he showed
that he was ready to return to action firing a bullet work on August
13 at Sam Houston Race Park. He ran second to Gray Invasion on September
18 in the TQHA Sires Stakes and rider Rodrigo Vallejo was impressed
with his effort.
Tonight with Vallejo in the irons, The Blazin Man broke sharply
and had a traffic-free trip down the center of the racetrack. He
dueled with Brown Special, a talented 4-year-old seeking his seventh
consecutive win, but The Blazin Man prevailed by a neck at the wire.
He completed the 440-yard stakes over a fast track in :21.692.
"He'd been off a long time, but he's a heck of a horse and
he's worked well for his return," said Gonzalez. "He was
running against some top horses including the two horse (Brown Special,
undefeated in his last six starts). Congratulations to his owners
and trainer. Any horse that can win six in a row is a very good
horse. But The Blazin Man was the better horse tonight. Rodrigo
did a great job; he’s clearly one of the best riders in the
Brown Special, a 4-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding is owned by John
Richard Wall of Longview, Texas and trained by Sam Houston Race
Park leading conditioner, Janet Van Bebber. He won the Harrisburg
Handicap on August 21, which was his sixth straight win.
"I am proud of my horse," said Van Bebber. "Our
main objective was to get him ready for the Generation X stakes
on Challenge weekend and I felt this would give him the necessary
toughening up against stakes company. The fact that he is stakes
placed now and proved himself in what I thought was a tough field
verified that he is ready to go in the Gen X. If he wins that stake
I think he will be a strong candidate for horse of the meeting."
Snow Warning from the barn of John Buchanan, rallied well on the
outside of the racetrack for third.
"I just got left," lamented rider Juan Vazquez. "I
should have broke better. He did pretty good in the end and he's
a nice horse. But in this kind of race, a little mistake costs you
the race. But he ran good. I just wish he could have broke a little
The Blazin Man, sent off at 2-1, paid $6.60, $4.00 and $2.80 across
the board. The exacta with Brown Special returned $23.60 and the
trifecta with Snow Warning, paid $79.40. Texi Gogo Girl ran fourth
and Ride With the King, Hesa Lil Bit High, Midnitraintogeorgia and
Dont Blink Girls completed the order of finish.
News and Notes
Trials were run on Friday, October 7 for the $75,000-added Graham
Farms Paint Futurity. Calista Corona, owned by Charles Trochta and
Sammy Hester was the fastest qualifier, completing 350-yards in
:17.667. The Oklahoma-bred son of Corona Cartel is trained by Hester
and ridden by Gilbert Ortiz.
The ten fastest qualifiers will return for the finals at Sam Houston
Race Park on Saturday, October 23.