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High Blues motors to first stakes win

Saturday, March 15, 2008 12:00 AM
  • General
Lebron wins five on the card
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 15, 2008 . . . High Blues ate up the last furlong to pass a gutsy leader and win the Tejano Run Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths at Turfway Park Saturday. The $50,000 Tejano Run, run at 1 1/8 miles, was the first stakes win for High Blues.

With High Blues near the back of the eight-horse field, Self Made Man ticked off eight of the race’s nine furlongs at a steady near-12 seconds each. Though the distance proved a bit too far at the pace for the frontrunner, the wire came soon enough for Self Made Man to save second, a neck ahead of Solo Cat in third.

"Yesterday and today they were starting to close, so I felt good about the race, and the added distance really helped him out a lot," said winning rider James Lopez. "He felt comfortable, and we were back a little bit, but he just kept gaining ground, gaining ground. He's like a big freight train—the longer he goes, the better he gets. He's got really long legs and he uses them, too, stretching out. When he gets to motoring, he’s moving pretty good."

Self Made Man led by 4 1/2 lengths down the backstretch with jockey Victor Lebron working to hold him back. Jade's Revenge, the 4-5 favorite, advanced on the leader at six furlongs but could not sustain the effort and finished seventh.

High Blues finished the Tejano Run in 1:51.71 and paid $12.80, $5.20, and $3.60 as the 5-1 third choice. Trained by George "Rusty" Arnold II, the 5-year-old ridgling has now compiled a 5-4-7 record in 22 starts for earnings of $206,917. High Blues is owned by Dixiana Stables.

Behind Solo Cat were Bond Street, Bacetto, Tap Dancing Mauk, Jade's Revenge, and Purely Wild.

Lebron settled for second in the Tejano Run but racked up five wins on Saturday’s card, three of them for trainer Mike Maker. Lebron, who leads all riders with 65 wins, won the third, fourth, seventh, 10th, and 12th races.

John McKee won the first and second races and is now six away from 1,000 career wins.

Racing continues Sunday and Monday at Turfway, with first post both days at 1:10pm. Usually dark on Mondays, Turfway scheduled the St. Patrick's Day card to make up races lost to earlier cancellations. The track will honor Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen on Monday and debut a new stakes race, the St. Patrick’s Day Handicap.

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