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Bluehourpower seeks another jewel for his crown
Friday, July 04, 2014 - by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Kimberly French
Louisville, KY --- Although he didn’t capture one leg of the Indiana Sire Stakes series prior to either $200,000 final last year as a 2-year-old, that didn’t mean a whit to Wilbur Eash. As far as he was concerned, Bluehourpower only needed to shine when the lights possessed the highest wattage.

“We were just trying to be eligible for the finals,” said Eash, who owns and trains the now 3-year-old pacing gelding. “I don’t want to take the credit because he did all the work. We just prepped him for them. Even after coming out of the first final, into the first leg for the second one, I told everyone I didn’t care where he finished. I said, ‘Just don’t hurt him.’”

 
Linscott Photography
Bluehourpower has won seven times in his career, with earnings of $296,094.

The altered son of Sand Shooter and the Jate Lobell mare Blue Hour was the dual 2-year-old Indiana Sire Stakes champion of 2013. He seeks to add yet another jewel to that sparkling resume when he leaves the gate on Saturday (July 5) in race 12 at Hoosier Park. This is the second $75,000 final of the Indiana Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Bluehourpower will begin his mile from post six in the field of 10 as the 5-2 morning line favorite with Sam Widger holding the lines.

“I think there are several really good horses in there,” Eash said. “I think whoever gets the best trip is going to be there in the end. I have no problem with a good horse beating me. We like to win, but I’m not a sore loser.”

And this horse may be even sharper as a 3-year-old than he was last year.

Bluehourpower was fourth in his career debut on July 5, 2013, in an $8,000 race at Hoosier Park, but returned on July 13 to annex his first triumph while lowering an 11-year-old track record by nearly a full second. The gelding came home his last quarter in :26.4 and crossed the finish line in 1:53.1.

“I thought he raced well in his first start where he finished fourth,” Eash said. “But I did think they should have gone a little faster. With that race, the way he was driven, I didn’t think they were going as fast as they were, but of course I was very pleased with him.”

Right from the day he hit the ground, Eash thought he might have a good one on his hands and immediately signed Blue Hour up for another date with Sand Shooter, which resulted in Sandysgoldenhour. The 2-year-old filly captured her second qualifying race in 1:58.3 at Hoosier Park on June 21. She makes her second career start on Tuesday (July 8) in an Indiana Sire Stakes nominated contest over the same oval.

“I wanted to see what this colt looked like when he was born before booking the mare,” Eash said. “I liked him so much that I booked her right back. We got the filly this time and we are keeping her for a broodmare.”

Bluehourpower laid his cards right on the table when he began to train down and has never turned a hair since.

“You could tell he had more ability than the rest of them I had,” Eash said. “It’s always hard to tell how fast they are going to go and you just hope, but when I qualified him I drove him. I thought to myself, ‘God he has a lot of gears.’ That was the last time I sat behind him in a race. After that, no one would let me drive him!”

After the gelding established the new track standard for his age and gait, he finished the season with a record of 11-4-1-3 and a mark of 1:52s. He competed only at Hoosier Park and earned $234,844.

When Bluehourpower returned from his winter vacation on May 31, he accomplished a feat he failed to do in his first year of performing by winning an Indiana Sire Stakes elimination leg. He followed that up with another win in the first $75,000 final of the season and set a lifetime record of 1:50.3s in the process.

In his next start he finished second to Speed Trap in one heck of a mile in a $15,000 conditioned race. He was just nipped at the wire after traveling home in :26, while his rival stopped the clock with a last quarter in :25.3.

His last start on June 28 was another adrenaline rush as he defeated Always At My Place by a scant head with a blistering :26.4 last quarter.

“He likes to come from behind or off the pace,” Eash said. “He seems much more aggressive that way, but he can do it on the front if he has to. That was one close race last week. My little grandson was here with us at the track and he said, ‘Grandpa, my heart skipped a beat twice.’ You couldn’t tell who won before the photo came out. That’s when I said, ‘Mine did too.’

The week before that, the other horse (Speed Trap) got a perfect trip, but when you get beat when he comes home in :26 you can’t take anything from the other horse. He got him right at the wire.”

His conditioner certainly feels how Bluehourpower contends with life is one of the reasons the horse has been so successful.

“He has the best personality you have ever been around in a horse,” Eash said. “It is absolutely unbelievable. He could care less what you do with him as far as putting him in the detention barn or in the paddock. He just doesn’t care and he doesn’t wear himself out. A lot of horses get worked up when they know what is coming. He is just so good natured.”

After he makes his appearances in the Indiana Sire Stakes events, the future is pretty well set in stone for Bluehourpower.

“I will keep him in Indiana,” Eash said. “I can’t go on the road with him unless I find someone else to share him with and that’s hard for me to do. I do have him staked to the American-National in Chicago at the end of the year, but I haven’t decided for sure if I am going to take him. That race falls on the same day as an Indiana final here. But if he does well this year and is still eligible for the big final, I still might take him to the American-National.”


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