MBNA America Challenge Championships - Barn Notes for Tuesday, November 2

(Tuesday, November 2, 2004) - Three-time Grade 1 futurity winner Azoom will enter the Grade 1, $150,000 Ford Juvenile Challenge to be run on Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park, according to trainer Frank Cavazos.

The Ford Juvenile is one of five Grade 1 stakes on the program that will offer over $1.3 million in purses. The races will be televised to over 50 million households on TVG and the following Fox Sports regional networks- Southwest, South, Net 2 (west coast), New York and Sunshine (tape delayed in Florida). The live programs will begin at 8 p.m. EST. The races will also air on America's Horse, televised on the Outdoor Life Network, on Nov. 21 and Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. EST.

"We are going to enter him (on Wednesday) and see how it goes with him the rest of the week. He's doing well and eating well," Cavazos said at his Sam Houston Race Park barn Tuesday morning.

Azoom, the leading contender for champion 2-year-old honors, will be returning on just eight days rest if in runs in the Ford. Azoom was pronounced in good health and sound after being examined by Dr. Tommy Hayes on Monday, according to Cavazos.

Sired by Shazoom and out of a full sister to leading sire Runaway Winner, Azoom scored the biggest win of his career last Friday night when he won the Grade 1Texas Classic Futurity by a dominating 1-3/4 lengths. He also has Grade 1 wins in the TQHA Sale Futurity and the Sam Houston Futurity.

Azoom is undefeated in his last six starts since finishing second, by a neck, in the Grade 2 TQHA Sires Futurity on July 3. The only time another horse has gotten with 1-1/2 lengths of Azoom during his winning streak was when he won his Sam Houston Futurity trial by 1/2 length.

A winner of 11 of 13 career starts, Azoom has been the fastest qualifier to each of the futurities he has competed in this year. The colt began his career in Mexico City with four wins from five starts, including winning the Mexico Ford Juvenile Challenge. He then moved to Sam Houston and joined the Cavazos barn. He has won seven of his eight starts in the United States.

Cavazos also reported that MBNA America Challenge Championship contender Valors Gold is preparing at a ranch in South Texas. "We are swimming him at the ranch and will probably bring him up here in a few days. If he leaves there running, he'll be strong," Cavazos said.

Valors Gold qualified for the MBNA American Challenge Championship with a win in the Texas Challenge Championship on May 29.
The draw for all six MBNA Challenge Championships stakes will take place on Wednesday, November 3.

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