08/20/2008 12:00AM

Blazin Fire a fair bet to put last behind her


Blazin Fire, who had a troubled start in her sole 2008 start, should be favored to defend her title in the Grade 3, $27,000 Merial California Distaff Challenge on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Blazin Fire returned from a seven-month layoff in the Easy Date Handicap and lost all chance as the 1-5 favorite when she stumbled at the start. She got up and was able to salvage third behind the dead-heating pair of Clydette Mia and Go Girl Gone.

Blazin Fire was voted national champion aged mare title last year when she won 4 of 6 starts, highlighted by her success in the Bank of America Racing Challenge program. She won the California Distaff Challenge by a neck over What a Performance and Strength in Numbers, a stablemate from the Paul Jones stable who went on to win the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship.

In the Grade 1 Distaff Challenge Championship, she beat What a Performance again by a neck as the 13-10 favorite.

Blazin Fire wrapped up her championship campaign with a dominating 1 3/4-length victory in the Grade 2 Las Damas Handicap for females.

Go Girl Gone, also from the Jones barn, looks for her second straight win over Blazin Fire after dead-heating for the win in the Easy Date Handicap. She made her Los Alamitos debut in the Easy Date after competing primarily in the Northwest.

In 2006, Go Girl Gone won the Ford Northwest Juvenile Challenge at Les Bois Park and then stepped forward with a close second-place effort behind Grade 1-winner Remember Me Rose in the Grade 2 Ford Juvenile Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park.