02/09/2011 2:48PM

Blazin Son much better racehorse since he was gelded


When Blazin Son was gelded last fall, it was not an ideal situation for owner-breeder Vessels Stallion Farm and trainer Cody Joiner.

Being by top stallion First Down Dash and out of Blazin Fire, the 2007 champion aged mare, the then 2-year-old Blazin Son had massive potential as a sire. But he did not have the race record.

After finishing sixth or worse in his first four starts, Blazin Son was gelded. The decision has led to a career turn-around, and a role as the fastest qualifier for the $138,250 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes on Feb. 26. In time trials last Saturday, Blazin Son recorded his second consecutive win, finishing 350 yards in 17.36 seconds.

“You get these colts and the dream is to have a stallion prospect,” said Joiner, 31. “First, you need a racehorse for someone to breed to him. I certainly think it’s benefited him to be gelded.”

The Maiden Stakes is restricted to 3-year-olds who were maidens as of Dec. 1, 2010. There were nine horses in the six trials who subsequently won a race, including Blazin Son. He finished second in a maiden race on Dec. 18, his sixth career start, but was promoted to first when a rival was disqualified for causing interference.

Blazin Son won the second of six trials last Saturday by 1 3/4 lengths under jockey Ramon Sanchez.

Last summer and fall, Blazin Son was unplaced in his first four starts, three of which were at Ruidoso Downs. He was gelded last fall at Los Alamitos and finished third in a division of the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trials, but failed to earn a berth to the final.

Vessels also owns the second-fastest qualifier to the 10-runner Maiden Stakes in Icy In the Morn, who won the fourth division of the trials in 17.44 seconds. A filly by First Down Dash, Icy In the Morn had not started since finishing a troubled sixth in a division of the All American Futurity trials at Ruidoso Downs in August.

Gold Rush Derby returns to stakes schedule

The $25,000 Gold Rush Derby for 3-year-olds over 870 yards has been added to the 2011 stakes schedule for the first time since 2007. Trials will be Nov. 11, with the final on Dec. 3. The race, open to Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, features an added-money purse. In 2007, the race was worth $65,150. The first nomination payment is due on March $15 for $200.