-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Owner Enrique Carrion

-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Owner Enrique Carrion & Jockey Rodrigo Vallejo

-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Net Sum Gain

Azoom Sets Yet Another Record at SHRP as He Wins the $1 Million Texas Classic Futurity

Houston, Texas (October 29, 2004) - Azoom, the 2-year-old American Quarter Horse sensation, did more than win yet another race this evening at Sam Houston Race Park. The Texas-bred colt made history becoming the first Quarter Horse since the northwest Houston racetrack opened in 1994 to win three futurities in a single meeting. Tonight's conquest was the $1,000,000 Texas Classic Futurity (G1) and with regular rider Rodrigo Vallejo not even touching his colt with his stick, Azoom dominated the field.

The 2-year-old colt, bred in Texas by Jerry Windham, was purchased at the 2003 TQHA Yearling Sale for $62,000 by Enrique Carrion of Veracruz, Mexico. Windham is one of the top Quarter Horse breeders in the country and has had some esteemed champions including Runaway Winner and Indigo Illusion, but he admits that Azoom may be in a class by himself.

"He may be as good as any horse I've ever bred, owned or sold," said Windham. "He's so quick and does it so easily. I knew when he was a yearling that he would be a good colt, but he continues to amaze me."

He began his career in Mexico, breaking his maiden on March 12 and winning four races in Mexico City before Carrion sent him to trainer Frank Cavazos at Sam Houston Race Park on May 22. Azoom has won a total of seven races at Sam Houston Race Park including two Grade 1 futurities, $283,422 TQHA Sale Futurity (RG1) on August 14 and the $350,000 Sam Houston Futurity (G1) on September 24. He not only won that stakes in convincing fashion, he set a new track record of :19.574 for the distance of 400-yards. The previous record of :19.59 was set by Mr Bar Code on September 9, 2000 in his win in the 2000 Sam Houston Futurity. Azoom's share of tonight's million dollar futurity was $432,769 increasing his total career earnings to $735,136.

Cavazos had lost his voice tonight, but continues to marvel at Azoom and refer to Azoom as a "freak" in reference to his sheer speed. He indicated that if Azoom comes out of tonight's race well that he will run in the $150,000 Ford Juvenile Challenge on MBNA America Challenge Championships night at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, November 6.

Regular rider Vallejo continues to be in awe of the effort his colt gives each time he steps onto the racetrack.

"He's an amazing horse; a super horse," said Vallejo. "I wasn't nervous tonight. I trust my horse; he is a wonderful horse."

Bigtime Favorite, trained by John Buchanan was the second fastest qualifier in trials run on October 15 and for the third time this meeting, had to settle for a runner-up finish to Azoom.

Both rider Juan Vazquez and trainer John Buchanan have respect for Azoom and credit Bigtime Favorite for giving his best.

"This time he left good," said Vazquez. "He left right there with him (Azoom). I couldn't ask for any better than that. He's a nice horse. I just couldn't beat that one."

"He just got outrun by a better horse on this night," added Buchanan. "He (Azoom) just can outrun us. We've had a shot at him three times, fair and square. We've been beside him. I thought if I could ever beat him, it would be out there beside him. He's just a faster horse. Our horse just came out in the wrong year. We're going to take him home next, rest him."

Kathys Star Quest, winner of the Manor Downs Futurity, rallied for third under rider Randy Edison. She will be headed to Sunland Park for her next effort according to trainer, Bobby Martinez.

"She is a special mare, I think she is the best mare I have ever ridden," said Edison. "I am going back to the farm when this meeting ends, but I'll go anywhere they call me to ride her."

Azoom, sent off at 1-9, paid $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10 across the board. The 9-1 exacta returned $3.80 and the 1-9-5 trifecta paid $26.40. Strawfly Romance, Pump it Up, Scrutinizer, Mairis Cartel, Cartel Leader and Beautiful Bunny Buds completed the order of finish.

News and Notes

Net Sum Gain Wins the $78,908 Texas Classic Futurity Consolation

Net Sum Gain, owned by Marilyn and James Helzer of Arlington, Texas, won the $78,908 Texas Classic Futurity Consolation, run earlier in the card.

Trained by Dwayne "Sleepy" Gilbreath and ridden by Roy Baldillez, Net Sum Gain crossed the wire in :20.001 and earned $21,042 for tonight's victory.

It was a consolation in more ways than one as Gilbreath's runner, Six Packa Moonshine had to be scratched from the Texas Classic Futurity due to a bruised hoof. Net Sum Gain was the fifteenth fastest qualifier in trials run on October 15.

"He ran a big race and has been coming around for us," said Gilbreath.

There was a five-minute delay prior to the running of the race when Ten Streaks unseated rider Jacky Martin in the starting gate. Martin took off his mount due to back spasms and Randy Edison took over. Baldillez thought the delay actually helped his colt relax.

"He was a little nervous when they loaded the first time," said Baldillez. "He loaded much better the second time and ran his best race ever."

Royal Steel Dash with Gilbert Ortiz aboard, ran second.

"He didn't leave as sharp as he did (in the trials), but he run a super race," commented Ortiz. "He's been training super. It might have cost him a little bit back when the (5) horse rode up in the gate. But he did real good."

Net Sum Gain, sent off at 7-1, returned $16.80 to win. Gilbreath indicated that Net Sum Gain would ship to Louisiana Downs for the Open to the World Futurity.

Silent Overdrive Captures the $180,000 Refrigerator Handicap at Lone Star Park

Leading Sam Houston Race Park trainer Janet Van Bebber stole some of the Thoroughbred limelight today at Grand Prairie when she saddled Silent Overdrive in the $180,000 Refrigerator Handicap at Lone Star Park.

Owned by Richard A. Slayter and ridden by Alvin "Bubba" Brossette, Silent Overdrive won the $61,000 Sam Houston Classic on September 4. The 6-year-old Louisiana-bred gelding, was sent off as the favorite today in the Refrigerator and returned $6.20. Gray Invasion, winner of the TQHA "550" takes at Sam Houston Race Park, ran second and Special Task Force, trained by Jack Brooks, ran third. Special Task Force will run at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, November 6 in the $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship.

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