photo by Coady Photography

The Blazin Man Prevails in the $19,800 Champion Forest Stakes at SHRP

(Saturday, 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 business."

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 better."

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.

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