-photo by Sandra Beck/Coady Photography
R B J's Blaze Gets Up at the Wire in the $40,000 Spring Stakes at SHRP

Houston, Texas (March 19, 2005) - Tonight's feature at Sam Houston Race Park was the $40,000 Spring Stakes for accredited Texas-breds. A field of eleven went postward and in the final furlong, it came down to just two, R B J's Blaze and Nuttyboom. The photo finish went to R B J's Blaze, a 5-year-old chestnut gelding, owned and bred by Ricky D. Sammons of Huntingdon, Texas and trained by Brian House.

R B J's Blaze had made 11 previous starts and appears to be rounding into the best form of his career this year. He ran fourth in the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes on Texas Champions Day and followed that up with two solid efforts at Delta Downs, his last being a win on February 18. Jeremy Collier was in the irons tonight and guided his horse to the outside of Nuttyboom, prevailing by a nose at the wire. The final time of the seven-furlong contest, over a track listed as good due to early evening showers, was 1:23.05.

"My horse had a good, clean trip," commented Collier. "There was a lot of speed in the early part of the race, but thank God, he had something left. I kept after him and he kept trying."

"He used to be a little precocious and tough to handle," added House. "He's gotten the psychological part of the game down and saves himself for the race. There were some very good horses tonight, but we managed to get the win."

Nuttyboom, from the barn of Ralph Irwin held the lead at the quarter-pole under rider Bobby Walker, Jr., but could not hold off the strong closing effort of the winner.

"It was too good of a ride to lose," lamented Walker. "I had a pretty good trip. I actually wasn't where I was planning on being in front. We just broke and it was kind of set up that way. The problem I had was that I didn't have my head in front when we got to the wire. I'm happy with everything. He (Nuttyboom) tried hard and kept trying to repel (R B J's Blaze); the other horse just ran him down."

Trainer Bill Pettit saddled entrymates and half-brothers, Giant Bellyache and Charming Socialite, who finished third and fourth, respectively.

"We had a bad break from gate (with Charming Socialite) and he had to really hustle to get around the field and get fourth," said Pettit. "We could have give that pair a run for the money with a better start."

Rider Larry Taylor rode Charming Socialite and agreed that the break cost them the race. "He had a terrible break," maintained Taylor. "He's never done that before. I couldn't go between horses on the turn and had to go all the way around. He would have been right there with a clean break."

"I had a great trip," said Daniel Boudreau aboard Giant Bellyache. "When they left the rail open he took it and I thought we were going to win when we turned for home. He ran hard but those other two just didn't come back to me."

Sent off at 8-1, R B J's Blaze paid $18.40 to win. The 9-6 exacta paid $79.00 and the 9-6-1 trifecta returned $313.40. Giant Bellyache, Charming Socialite, Oncearoundtwice, Flo's Gold, last year's champion, Catalissa, Record Assembly, Herve, Won CC and Twilight Vision completed the order of finish.

Sammons also bred Won CC who captured this race in 2002 and ran second in the 2004 edition of the stakes. He indicated that R B J's Blaze would be pointed to Lone Star Park and possibly make his next start in the Premiere Stakes.

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