08/12/2011 4:38PM

Arapahoe Park: Hezamazing seeks repeat in Arapahoe Classic


Just when it appeared Hezamazing might be at his best sprinting, he went out and won the first two-turn race of his career in the Arapahoe Park Classic. Hezamazing romped by more than nine lengths and on Sunday will be back to defend his title in the 1  1/8-mile race, which again has a purse of $50,000.

A field of 11 3-year-olds and up will go in the Classic. Among the most prominent starters are E F Five, a two-time sprint winner at the current meet, and Happy Toes, a New Mexico invader who has won his last three starts in a streak that began in June.

Hezamazing had made a handful of two-turn starts leading up to last year’s Classic, but had been most effective at one turn as evidenced by his back-to-back wins in the Arapahoe Park Sprint. But Hezamazing turned a new trick in the Classic, when he tracked the pace, and then drew away from his competition. He earned one of his best Beyer Speed Figures, an 84, and has since won another two-turn stakes, the $25,000 Bienvenidos at Turf Paradise.

Travis Wales, who was aboard the 6-year-old Hezamazing last month when he won a 5 1/2-furlong allowance at Arapahoe, has the mount for owner Carlyle Rollins and trainer Rick Houghton.

Happy Toes is a half-brother to You Lift Me Up, a multiple stakes winner of $477,717.

◗ Nominations for the richest Thoroughbred race of the meet, the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity, will close on Sunday, said Bill Powers, plant manager of Arapahoe. The six-furlong race for 2-year-olds will be run Aug. 21. The cost to nominate is $400.