09/22/2004 12:00AM

Azoom gets his toughest test in $350K futurity

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Azoom, winner of eight races including the $283,422 TQHA Sale Futurity, faces the most challenging test of his career in the Grade 1, $350,000 Sam Houston Futurity on Friday night at Sam Houston Race Park.

Azoom won his first four starts in Mexico City, then shipped to Sam Houston Race Park and became the fastest qualifier to the $134,748 TQHA Sires Cup Futurity, the TQHA Sale Futurity, and the Sam Houston Futurity. He finished second in the Sires Cup Futurity, one of only two defeats in his 10-race career.

Azoom is making his first futurity start against open competition in the Sam Houston. He set the fastest qualifying time (19.843 seconds for 400 yards), when he defeated the second-fastest qualifier, Bigtime Favorite.

On Saturday night in the Grade 1, $110,000 Sam Houston Derby, fastest qualifier Mystical Reb will be after his third straight victory and his first stakes win. He won his trial in 21.560 seconds for the 440 yards.