Blaze and Blues noses out Woodlawn Stakes victory

Blaze and Blues had never raced a distance or started on the turf, so he was somewhat of a question mark yesterday in the $75,000 Woodlawn Stakes at Pimlico.

But the Lazy Lane Farms colt quelled all the doubts in a stirring stretch battle with Dixie Run by scoring an exciting nose victory, a third straight win in a four-race career.


It was a head bobbing battle through the lane by the third and fourth choices and jockey Rick Wilson prevailed in a photo-finish for his fourth winner on the card.

"It was a nice trip. I had the inside the whole way," said Wilson, who was aboard the colt for the first time. "I found a crease at the top of the lane so I could get out, and when I asked him, he took off."


BLaze and Blues, a 3-year-old Hansel offspring, has not been worse than second during a career that began in January. He has already exceeded $80,000 in earnings.

The time for 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course was a rapid 1:41 1/5.

"I scoped this horse after he ran last time and it showed he had bled slightly, so as a precautionary measure, we put him on Lasix," said trainer H. Graham Motion. "On a scale of one to 10, he bleeds ever so slightly but without it, he could really hemorrhage later on."

Meanwhile, it was announced that The Groom Is Red, owned by Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino, has been supplemented to the $750,000 Pimlico Special on Saturday.

Trained by Nick Zito, The Groom Is Red was an impressive winner in a $65,000 allowance at Keeneland his last time out. His form has been improving of late after more than a year without a victory.

His last stakes win was in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park over a sloppy track in October of 1998. In that race, he beat Lemon Drop Kid, another Special entrant.

The connections paid $5,000 to get him weighted and another $15,000 to pass the entry box.