07/10/2001 11:00PM

Blazin Bux riding streak


Blazin Bux will be after his fourth straight win in the Grade 3, $43,880 TQHA Sires Cup Derby at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday night.

Owned by Martha Luedtke and trained by Beverly McNeely, Blazin Bux won his trial by a half-length with the fastest qualifying time of 19.964 seconds for 400 yards. He has wins this year in the Grade 2 Manor Downs Derby and the Calveras Stakes at Retama Park.

Thru Rebas Eyes, owned by Michael Taylor, won her trial by a half-length over four other 3-year-olds who qualified for the finals.

War Colors favored in Challenge

War Colors, fresh from a win in the Grade 2 East Challenge at Delta Downs, will shoot for another victory in the Challenge series in the Grade 1 $81,100 MBNA America Texas Challenge on Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park.

War Colors, owned by Teddy Abrams Jr. and trained by Janet VanBebber, has seven wins from eight lifetime starts at Sam Houston. He was the 1999 horse of the meet as a 2-year-old and won a minor stakes at Sam Houston last year.

War Colors won a nose verdict over 11-1 outsider A Glint of Gold in their Texas Challenge trial. War Color's time of 21.666 seconds for the 440 yards was the fastest from two trials.

Set to face War Colors are Johnny Cheval and Victory Defined.

Johnny Cheval made his 2001 debut in his trial and sprinted to a daylight win. Victory Defined, the defending Texas Challenge winner, won seven of eight starts last year with five stakes wins. He is winless this year from three starts and had throat surgery three weeks before his trial.

Madam Cartel finds fast track

Madam Cartel, owned by Jerry Tolbert and Flat Get It Farm, caught a fast track in the trials to lead the qualifiers to the Grade 2, $100,720 TQHA Sires Cup Futurity on Sat-urday at Sam Houston Race Park.

Madam Cartel raced in the third of seven trials and rain turned the track to slop for the remaining trials.

A daughter of top freshman sire Corona Cartel, Madam Cartel won her trial by 1 3/4 lengths with a 17.781 time for the 350 yards. The winner of two of four career starts, Madam Cartel finished second in the Grade 3 American Airlines East Challenge.

Breeds to clash at Calder

Streakin MD and Whataluckyboy, winners of the two divisions of the Woodlands Stakes at Sam Houston last year, top the four Quarter Horses set to meet four Thoroughbreds in the $25,000 Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred Challenge at Calder Race Course on Saturday. The 880-yard race is part of the $1 million Summit of Speed program.

One breed will have the odd-numbered post positions and the other breed will have the even-numbered posts. There will be a special wager in which the fan can bet on a particular breed.

The two other Quarter Horses expected to compete are Pauls Valley Handicap third-place finisher King Rick Rack and Vigilance.

N.M.-breds highlight Zia Festival

Ima Cry Baby Two brings fastest qualifier status and a performing pedigree into the Grade 2, $150,000 Zia Futurity on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

The Zia Futurity, Zia Derby, and the Zia Handicap are three Quarter Horse stakes on a program with seven stakes races for New Mexico-bred Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.

Trained by Carlos Sedillo, Ima Cry Baby Two topped 10 rainy trials on June 28 when she raced 350 yards in 17.740 seconds over a track listed as sloppy. She won by 2 1/2 lengths for her second win from three career starts.

Ima Cry Baby Two, owned by Chris and Barbara Coleman, is a full sister to stakes winner and 1999 Zia Futurity runner-up Major Cry Baby.

In the Grade 3, $40,000 Zia Derby, WR Red Ace meets Mark My Dial. WR Red Ace, owned by Rose Webb, has won six of 13 starts, including two stakes, while Mark My Dial won last year's Zia Futurity and has earned $186,448 for owners Robert and Dolores Gerhardt.

The Grade 3, $40,000 Zia Handicap should feature 125-pound highweights Dooleys Medallion and The Zia Star. Dooleys Medallion won the Cimarron Handicap over The Zia Star. Then The Zia Star won the Lineage Championship over Dooleys Medallion, who had a poor start.

Badilla recovering after spill

Three-time national champion jockey Joe Badilla is recovering from a concussion and a tongue laceration suffered in a spill at Ruidoso Downs on July 6.

He was unconscious after the spill aboard Cayenne Flama in the final trial to the Rainbow Futurity. He regained consciousness at a Ruidoso hospital and then was flown to Covenant Hospital in Lubbock, Texas, where he is expected to remain this week.

Badilla is reported to be awake, alert, and communicating.

The leading rider at Los Alamitos with 103 victories, Badilla had his best year in 1999, when his mounts earned over $3 million.

Illusioneiress dies

Illusioneiress, the winner of the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity on April 8, died from colic complications on July 5. She had been slated to compete in the Rainbow Futurity trials on July 6.

Owned by Miguel Caro and trained by Jose R. Gonzalez, Illusioneiress was undefeated in four starts and earned $115,200.