Blazing Sevens Makes Victorious Return, G1 Met Mile Next?

April 21, 2024

Blazing Sevens with a winning return to the races (Susie Raisher)

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NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Rodeo Creek Racing’s Grade 1-winner Blazing Sevens was victorious Saturday in his return from a nine-month layoff dating to a third in the Curlin at Saratoga Race Course, taking a one-mile allowance optional claimer by one length [Race 7], at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winner Chad Brown, the 4-year-old Good Magic dark bay found himself two-lengths back in last-of-six after a half-mile in 45.39 seconds, before steadily advancing and going five-wide under pilot Manny Franco to pounce to the lead with a sixteenth remaining. He denied late tries from stakes-winners Full Screen and fellow Brown-trainee Artorius for a final time of 1:34.55 over the fast main track.

Blazing Sevens’ performance was awarded a 97 Beyer Speed Figure, just one tick shy of his career-best 98 earned in a head defeat to National Treasure in last May’s 1 3/16-miles Grade 1 Preakness at Pimlico Race Course.

Brown, who won four races Saturday including the Danger’s Hour with Spirit of St Louis, said the performance was enough to consider the Grade 1, $1 million Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap, a one-mile test on June 8 at Saratoga on Belmont Stakes Day, offering a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

“He had a wide journey and was fit enough to gut it out in a fairly quick time. We’ll see how he comes out of the race and go from there, but I’ll consider a race like the Met Mile,” said Brown. “I think he’s good enough. It’s quite a tough race, but that’s at the top of my list.”

John Capek of Rodeo Creek Racing said he was equally as impressed with the performance after the time off.

“We are glad to have him back on the track. After nine months off, I think he ran well,” said Capek. “He got a little bit of a challenge coming out of the gate, but he showed his capability in the turn.”

Blazing Sevens, who had worked weekly at the Payson Park Training Center since February 4, entered the race off a half-mile breeze in 48.90 seconds on April 14 over the Belmont Park dirt training track.

“Chad said he has been training extremely well. He is in as good of a condition as he was right before the Preakness,” Capek said. “I think the nine months of a layoff has done him well.”

The last win for Blazing Sevens came at one-mile in the Grade 1 Champagne during October of his juvenile season at Belmont at the Big A. He subsequently finished off-the-board at 1 1/16-miles in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland and the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, before a third in the nine-furlong Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland and his second in the Preakness.

“He has done well at the mile distance. We’ll [someday] see if he can stretch it out a little bit, but I think winning is everything now,” said Capek.

Blazing Sevens has nearly reached the one million-dollar mark in earnings with $957,650 through a record of 9-3-1-3. Out of the winning Warrior’s Reward mare Trophy Girl, he was a $225,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale 2021.

@AmWager @jonathanstettin @GulfstreamPark And starts off the day with a winner.

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