|R B J's Blaze Gets Up at the Wire
in the $40,000 Spring Stakes at SHRP
(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,
"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.