Chicago Tribune

July 23, 2000

Blazing Sword finds an opening, streaks to Washington Park victory


By Neil Milbert, Chicago Tribune, July 23, 2000


Mula Gula and Nite Dreamer were locked in a fight to the finish line when Blazing Sword found the key to victory in Saturday’s Grade II $250,000 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington International Racecourse.

The key was an opening on the rail. Jockey Jose Rivera II sent Blazing Sword charging through and he went by the other two nearing the wire to emerge a one-length winner in Arlington’s top dirt race for older horses.

“I thought I had enough to hold on,” Mark Guidry, Arlington’s leading rider who was aboard California invader Mula Gula, the 8-5 favorite in the eight-horse race.

“We were battling, battling, battling with Nite Dreamer, and Blazing Sword just sneaked in on the inside.

“I was outside Nite Dreamer and there was nothing I could do.”

According to Rivera, normally Blazing Sword doesn’t operate on the inside.

“He usually wants to run outside,” said the jockey who accompanied the 10.40-to-1 longshot from Calder.

“But I was behind a wall of horses and got pushed inside so that’s where I stayed.”

The triumph was the 6-year-old gelding’s fourth in seven starts this year for owner-breeder Gilbert Campbell and trainer Kathleen O’Connell.

He ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.59 and paid $22.80 to win.

Mula Gula was second, a neck in front of Nite Dreamer.