12/11/2010 8:06PM

Win by Table Games in Jim Edgar Futurity bittersweet for Block

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Doug Clark/Fourfootedfotos
Table Games, ridden by Eddie Razo, gets up by a nose over Domain's Rap in the Jim Edgar Futurity.

STICKNEY, Ill. – Trainer Chris Block won the $99,400 Jim Edgar Futurity with Table Games on a miserable cold and wet Saturday afternoon at Hawthorne Race Course, and the satisfaction of Table Games’s performance was tempered by the breakdown of Block’s other horse in the race, Maxton. The well-bred Maxton, a son of Arch out of a stakes-winning mare, broke both sesamoids at the top of the stretch, didn’t finish, and had to be euthanized on the track.

Table Games had been offered up for a $25,000 maiden-claiming price in his career debut at Arlington late this past summer, but, encouraged by Table Games’s late run in that two-turn turf race, Block sent Table Games into an Illinois-bred maiden-special-weight dirt route Nov. 10 at Hawthorne. Table Games won by 2 ¼ lengths, and overcame post 10 and a sloppy racetrack to nip Domain’s Rap by a nose in the 1 1/16-mile Futurity.

“That was a gutty performance, I thought,” said Block.

Table Games, bred and owned by the Virginia Tarra Trust, raced in seventh under Eddie Razo down the backstretch of the Futurity as Southland Jazz, a 108-1 shot, led early, setting fractions of 25.04 and 48.15 seconds for the opening quarter- and half-mile. Southland Jazz was done midway around the far turn, with favored Next Kitten inheriting the lead. Maxton tried to slip inside just before turning for home, but had to steady twice, and came up badly lame at the top of the stretch.

“He certainly had to tap on the brakes a couple times, which held up his momentum,” Block said. “I don’t know if that played into it, or if he hit a bad spot in the racetrack.”

Meanwhile, Razo steered Table Games four-wide for the stretch run, and the winning pair eventually wore down Domain’s Rap, who had collard Next Kitten at the stretch call. Table Games, a son of Hold That Tiger, paid $15.40 and was timed in 1:46.80.