Blazing Sevens Sharp in Final Pre-Preakness Work

Rodeo Creek Racing’s GISW Blazing Sevens (Good Magic) breezed five furlongs over the Belmont main track in his final serious move ahead of the May 20 GI Preakness S. at Pimlico Saturday. Blazing Sevens, who visited the track following the renovation break around 9:00 a.m., worked in company with stakes-winning stablemate Artorius [1:00.18], completing the trip in 1:00.02 over the fast main track.

Blazing Sevens was accompanied by Irad Ortiz, Jr. who also rode the Chad Brown trainee in his latest start, a third-place finish in the Apr. 8 GI Blue Grass at Keeneland.

“It went perfect. He was within himself. He’s fit and happy,” said Ortiz, Jr., who will be riding the colt for only the second time next week. “I’ve never worked him before, but he worked like a nice horse. Nice and easy. I don’t move on him. The track is maybe a little fast, but he worked one minute nicely.”

Added trainer Chad Brown, “The horse did super. I was really pleased with the work.”

The colt is expected to ship to Pimlico Sunday morning.

Winner in a sloppy renewal of the GI Champagne at Aqueduct last fall, Blazing Sevens completed his 2-year-old season with a fourth-place effort in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland. He was a distant eighth in his seasonal debut in Gulfstream’s GII Fountain of Youth S. in March.

Targeted for the Preakness, the colt will try to give his trainer a third win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown behind winners Cloud Computing [2017] and Early Voting [2022]. The last trainer to score two straight Preakness wins was Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who did so with Point Given [2001] and War Emblem [2002].

“It’s always been decided on an individual horse basis. With [Cloud Computing and Early Voting] it worked. This horse seemed to fit the category a bit,” Brown said. “This horse has raced a lot more at age two than those other two, so he’s been battle tested. When he threw a big clunker in the Fountain of Youth and didn’t do any running, it really set me back fitness wise and I was just trying to play catch up at that point getting into the Derby. I have no regrets sitting the Derby out the way it unfolded. I think this is the right decision for this particular horse at this point in time.”

Looking back at the colt’s credible Blue Grass finish, Brown added, “He got a bit of a wide trip. I just wanted him to stay out of trouble. He had to circle horses and he really got tired coming around those horses on the turn. For all practical purposes, it was his first start of the year. He did no running at Gulfstream, so he had a right to get a bit tired. That’s another reason I didn’t want to go back in four weeks to the Derby. As you can see today, he’s a horse with a full tank of gas and he’s doing as well as he’s ever done. I’m just trying to put the horse in the best position to be successful.”

Ortiz Jr. previously finished second in the 2021 Preakness and is hopeful that Blazing Sevens can go one better this season.

“I’m confident with my horse,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “He’s pointing to get ready for that race and I think I have a little advantage. He’s fresh and pointing straight to that race and can give me 100 percent. The other horses have had to recover. Hopefully, he can get the job done Saturday.”

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