Blazingbellablu Takes $50,000 Hastings Stakes

Blazingbellablu and Alex Cruz prevail in the $50,000 Hastings Stakes


AUBURN, Wash. (June 22, 2024) – Blazingbellablu returned from a nine-month layoff in great form Saturday afternoon at Emerald Downs, rallying for a neck victory over Young Life Laura in the $50,000 Hastings Stakes for older fillies and mares.

With Alex Cruz riding his third of four winners Saturday, Blazingbellablu ran six furlongs in 1:09.29 and paid $7.72 as third betting choice in a field of eight that featured five Emerald Downs stakes winners.

Washington’s Horse of the Year in 2021, Blazingbellablu now has five Emerald Downs stakes wins, seven stakes victories overall, including two straight wins in the Hastings along with a runner-up finish in the 2022 running.

Bred and owned by Petra Lewin and trainer Charles Essex, the 6-year-old gray is 9-7-3 from 22 starts with $320,561 in earnings. Saturday’s triumph was worth $27,500.

Aloha Breeze and Miss Dynamic lit the fuse for Blazingbellablu, dueling through grueling fractions of :21.21 and :43.58, the winner rallying with a four wide sweep into the lane.

Blazingbellablu collared the leaders past mid-stretch and was all-out to stave off Young Life Laura for the victory.

Dismissed at 16 to 1, Young Life Laura nearly bagged her sixth win in two seasons at Emerald Downs, rallying inside Blazingbellablu to just miss.

Silvery Orb, off at 19 to 1, finished third, while Aloha Breeze weakened slightly to fourth. An Emerald Downs champion two years running, Aloha Breeze raced for the first time since August and lost for only the third time in eight career starts.

Rounding out the order of finish were Our Lyla Grace, Daffodil Sweet, Jamies Inheritance, and 9 to 5 favorite Miss Dynamic.

The $50,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs is next for older fillies and mares on Sunday, July 21.

NOTES: Alez Cruz has two four-win days this season and leads Karlo Lopez 26-17 atop the standings. . .Charles Essex has 20 stakes wins at Emerald Downs, the 13th trainer to reach the milestone. . .Justin Evans went two for two on his 43rd birthday, scoring maiden wins with 2-year-old filly A Thousand Miles ($4.88) and 3-year-old filly Classic American ($5.40), the latter prevailing by 10 ¼ lengths in her career debut. . .Classic American was claimed for $25,000 Saturday by Chad and Josh and trainer David Martinez, already the eighth claim of $25,000 or higher at the meet. . .Company Girl, the first progeny by 2018 Longacres Mile winner Barkley to race, finished second at 28 to 1 in her debut in Saturday’s special weight 2-year-old fillies. . .Razor-sharp Candied Lute ($7.38) won for the second time in eight days, blazing 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.88. . .Al McEachern sang O Canada in the winner’s circle prior to the Hastings Stakes. . . Racing resumes Sunday with the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes for 3-year-olds and up. First post 1:30 p.m.