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Blackjack Bob Has Winning Hand in A-9 Memorial Day Handicap

May 28, 2007 — The Brow Stables' Blackjack Bob debuted in grand style Sunday at the Randall “Doc” James Racetrack with a hard-fought win at the wire over a very game Zirito in the day’s feature race, the $5500 A-9 Memorial Day Handicap.
The race featured the top three thoroughbreds on St. Croix and three of the top five or six in the territory. Carson Secrets with jockey Junior Inirio in the irons, Blackjack Bob with Angel Stanley aboard and Zerito, who also debuted with a win on the previous race-day card with jockey Miguel Sanchez.
Every fan in the stands stood up when they heard announcer Hank Armstrong's familiar call, “They’re at the gate,” and did not sit again until after the race.
At the break, it was Carson secrets first out of the gates and he raced to the early lead. As they passed the grandstands for the first time, it was still Carson Secrets on top, followed closely by Zirito, half a length back, with Blackjack Bob trailing the field by a length and a half.
Carson Secrets led the field around the clubhouse turn and into the backstretch. At the four-furlongs pole, he led Zirito by a long neck, but Blackjack Bob was beginning to creep up on the leaders, now just a length off the pace. As they reached the 3/8 pole, Zirito and Blackjack Bob quickly collared Carson Secret and at one point they were three across the track coming around the far turn. At that point it was evident that Carson Secrets was through for the day, as the other two horses quickly went by.
As they hit the top of the stretch, it was now only a two-horse race. Blackjack Bob came hard on the outside, had the lead as they straightened for home, and looked as if he would draw away from Zerito on his way to the wire. But, to the delight of the fans, Zirito was not done yet. He battled back on the inside and almost drew even at about mid-stretch. But a great stretch ride by Stanley prevented him from passing.
Slowly Blackjack Bob began to regain the advantage, but there was no quit in Zirito. As they approached the wire, with the crowd roaring its approval, Blackjack Bob had a head in front and crossed the line with that same margin of victory. What a race! Race fans could still be heard buzzing about the battle in the stretch and the finish, long after the horses were back in their stables resting.
“We had a hard time with him when he first got here,” said Blackjack Bob’s trainer, Steve Brow. “He was sick after the trip down here. Also, he did not take to the track at first, but gradually he began to come around. The key to him today — and this we got from his previous handlers — was after Stanley starts to move him, he had to stay active on him because he has a tendency to relax a little too much in the heat of the race.”
Blackjack Bob, the new kid on the block of V.I. racing, negotiated the 1 1/16-mile race in a not-too-shabby time of 1:45.3.
So the stage is now set for the Fourth of July feature race. The race, which will be run at a distance at 1 1/8 miles, could possibly have the largest group of top-notch thoroughbreds entered in one race. Possible starters for that race could be the current V.I. champ, Kentucky Kris, along with Zirito, Gallego, Silver Horn, Carson Secrets, Wauwinet and Blackjack Bob. The potential matchup has racing fans salivating.
The rest of the days results are as follows:
Race 1 5 F Class H, Jockey
Time: 1:03.4
1. Beyonce, Edgar Walker
2. Secret Weapon, Elmo Barnes
3. Pull The Trigger, Angel Stanley
Race 2 5F Class G
Time: 1:03.4
1. Al Abjar, Steven Davis
2. Juelz, Alphonso Claudio
3. Precious Gold, Jesus Guadelupe

Race 3 7 F Class F(2)
Time: 1:32
1. Queen Mary, Elmo Barnes
2. King David, Junior Inirio
3. Weapon Queen, Miguel Sanchez

Race 4 7 1/2 F Class F(1)
Time: 1:37
1. Fantastic Four, Junior Inirio
2. Top Ranking, Jesus Guadelupe
3. Villa Oro, Edgar Walker

Race 5 1 M open M&F
Time: 1:43.4
1. She’s Got the Helm, Angel Stanley
2. Caribbean Colony, Junior Inirio
3. Trick Hunter, Jesus Guadelupe
Race 6 7 1/2 F Classes C&D
Time: 1:34.4
1. My Dream Team, Junior Inirio
2. Bey Ivan, Angel Stanley
3. Cat Hunter, Elmo Barnes
Race 7 1 M Classes B&C
Time: 1:41.2
1. Silver Horn, Angel Stanley
2. Strong Passer, Gioavni Vasquez
3. Slew Alex, Warren Knight

Race 9 7 1/2 F Class E
Time: 1:37
1. Marfin Express, Jesus Guadelupe
2. Honor Bonus, Alphonso Claudio
3. Finny, Miguel Sanchez
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