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Your guide to the Challenge Championships, Saturday night, October 27


October 26, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Story courtesy of Q-Racing Journal

The Bank of America Challenge Championships take center stage on October 27 at Prairie Meadows. On Saturday, the Altoona, Iowa, racetrack plays host to a full card of 11 Challenge races. These include the six headlining championship events, as well as five undercard races, with purses for the evening totaling more than $1.1 million. First post is at 7:00 p.m. Central Time (CT).

Details of the six championship events are shown below:

Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1),
race #6, 9:05 p.m. CT


Eight horses are set to run in the competitive $125,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1), set as the sixth race and first championship race. The race is 870 yards.

The super-hot runner All About Larry (Heza Motor Scooter-Come Hell Or Hiwater by Shoot Yeah) has been installed as the early favorite and was given Post 4. The gelding, who races for Diane Heath and is trained by John Stinebaugh, has won five of seven starts this year and is in dominating form. Two starts ago, he won the August 12 Master Salls Handicap at Ruidoso Downs by 9 3/4 lengths and then demolished the September 28 Red Cell Lone Star Distance Challenge field by 9 lengths while setting a track record.

Rene Laatsch’s Yin Your Eyes returns to defend his title in the race, as the Bill Hoburg-trained gelding won the race at Los Alamitos last year. The Eye Yin You gelding, whom Hoburg also bred in partnership, has won or placed in 18 of his 30 career starts and earned $125,994.

The winner of the 2010 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship, De Passem Okey (Okey Dokey Dale-Impassable Gal (TB) by Sir Richard Lewis) has been the sport’s champion distance horse both of the past two years and has won six of his latest seven starts dating back nearly a year. The gelding was unbeatable this spring at Remington Park when he went four-for four, won three graded stakes and was the overwhelming favorite in each start. He took the April 1 Pauls Valley Handicap (G3), the May 6 Red Cell Remington Distance Challenge (G3) and the May 28 Remington Park Distance Handicap (G3).

Trainer Rodney Reed prepared De Passem Okey for the Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship by easily winning a $20,680 allowance race over 870 yards at Will Rogers Downs on September 15. De Passem Okey has won two of three starts at Prairie Meadows and has proven victorious in 16 of 30 outs over 870 yards.

Horton Racing’s homebred Call Her Hero (Valiant Hero-Shady Caller (TB) by Caller I.D.) brings a four-race winning streak, including those three wins over Yin Your Eyes, into the Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship. Following an 8-length romp in a July 6 Fair Meadows maiden race, she came to Prairie Meadows and rattled off wins in her Red Cell Prairie Meadows Distance Challenge trial, the September 15 Red Cell Prairie Meadows Distance Challenge final and the October 6 Covered Bridges Stakes (G3). She was the odds-on favorite for her latest two wins.

The complete field in post position order, from the inside out, including jockey and morning-line odds:

De Passem Okey, G.R. Carter Jr., 4-to-1
Call Her Hero, Stormy Smith, 5-to-1
Bok Man, Jeff Jermain, 20-to-1
All About Larry, Salvador Martinez, 2-to-1
Hes A Real Stone, Cody Smith, 8-to-1
JW A Royal Flirt, Esgar Ramirez, 6-to-1
Yin Your Eyes, Mark Luark, 12-to-1
Emperor Valerian, Cody Jensen, 6-to-1

Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1),
race #7, 9:30 p.m. CT


Robert Gentry’s classy homebred Fredaville looms as a dangerous threat in the $125,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1). The morning line favorite will break from the outside post. She is looking for vindication this year, as the mare was second in last year’s running of the race. The Merial Distaff Challenge at 400 yards is the spotlight race for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares on the Bank of America Challenge Championship program.

The well-traveled Fredaville (Mr Jess Perry-Fearless Freda by Dash For Cash) has the highest earnings in the field, with $266,571 from 34 career starts. The six-time stakes winner this year has made six starts and never been worse than third. They include wins in the Merial Remington Park Distaff Challenge and Merial Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge. She was second in the Junos Request Stakes (G2) and third in the Charger Bar Handicap (G2), Hialeah Invitational and most recently the Mildred N. Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1). She represents four generations of Gentry breeding – Robert and his brother, Bruce, bought the mare’s fourth dam, Cute Kiss, back in 1971. Fredaville is trained by Cody Joiner and will have champion jockey G.R. Carter Jr. aboard.

Fredaville isn’t the only representative of a long-term breeding program. Believers Gathering, too, is a fourth-generation homebred racing for AQHA Past President Walter Fletcher and his wife, Pat. The Fletchers bought this mare’s fourth dam, Sweet Mooner, as a 2-year-old in 1975. Believers Gathering is out of Prairie Meadows star None As Easy ($265,132), who won five stakes at the Iowa track. Believers Gathering is by Agouti, and has won or placed in 24 of her 44 career starts while earning $177,539. Believers Gathering is a three-time stakes winner, including two at the Iowa racetrack, and in 2010, was second in the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) at Fair Grounds.

Tommy Hays and Bobby Barnett’s Painted Sable (PYC Paint Your Wagon-Sables Dash by Dash Thru Traffic) has the advantage of coming into the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship off a win over the Prairie Meadows track. The Ed Hardy-trained Painted Sable responded with a half-length win as the 6-to-5 favorite in the Merial Prairie Meadows Distaff Challenge on September 15. Painted Sable also won the July 8 Hill Country Stakes at the Gillespie County Fair in Texas and was third in the Merial Sam Houston Distaff Challenge earlier this year.

The complete field in post position order, from the inside out, including jockey and morning-line odds:

L Bar D Snow Princes, J.L. Cruz, 12-to-1
RTM Say Your Prayers, Allen Corson, 8-to-1
Im A Feature Girl, Agustin Silva, 15-to-1
Painted Sable, Stormy Smith, 6-to-1
Believers Gathering, Cody Smith, 10-to-1
Bertha Venation, Esgar Ramirez, 5-to-1
Surprise Ending, Juan Vazquez, 15-to-1
Leanintoit, Cody Jensen, 7-to-2
Corona For You, Alejandro Luna, 12-to-1
Fredaville, G.R. Carter Jr., 3-to-1

Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G1),
race #8, 9:55 p.m. CT


The Mesa Valley Farms LLC homebred Fols Jesse is the 4-to-1 morning line favorite going into the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G1). The 400-yard race is exclusively for 3-year-olds and will be run as the eighth race on the card.

Fols Jesse (Jesse James Jr-Sheza Jet Dash by Dash To Chivato) enters the race off a half-length score in the Kip Diderickson Handicap at Los Alamitos against older horses.

Not worse than third in all of his six starts this year, Fols Jesse was second in his Adequan Les Bois Derby Challenge regional race and third in the Sgt Pepper Feature Handicap.

Tom Maher’s gelding Painted Lies (PYC Paint Your Wagon-Teller Lies by First Down Dash) is having a sensational sophomore campaign with five wins, two seconds and a third from nine starts. The highlights of this streak include a win in the June 9 Minnesota Stallion Breeders/NCQHRA Derby (R) at Canterbury Park and then his most important career victory in the September 15 Adequan Prairie Meadows Derby Challenge (G3). The Amber Blair-trained Painted Lies has the advantage of coming into the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship off that win at Prairie Meadows, when he dug in to secure the game neck win over the highly regarded Huckleberry Mojito.

LMR 2011’s Huckleberry Mojito (Feature Mr Jess-Eye Opening Special by Mr Eye Opener) has five wins and a close second to Painted Lies as the even-money choice in the September 15 Adequan Prairie Meadows Derby Challenge (G3) from her latest six starts. Her wins during this stretch for trainer Ed Hardy include a track record-setting win in the $39,000 Canterbury Derby and the $27,000 Race for Hope, both at Canterbury Park. 6.

Mary Kirby’s Second Painted Sign (PYC Paint Your Wagon-Stylish Sign by Vital Sign) comes off a pair of stakes wins and tries for his fourth-consecutive win. Two starts ago, Second Painted Sign defeated Oklahoma-breds by three quarters of a length in the $90,000 Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Derby on June 30 at Fair Meadows and then he earned his trip to the Challenge Championships with a win in the Adequan Will Rogers Derby Challenge on September 30. The Jackie Kirby-trained colt pulled away to a 2-length win as the 4-to-5 favorite while covering the 400 yards in :19.746.

Michael Amburn and trainer Guy Hopkins have two in the race, with Jess A Comment (First Comment-Jess Quick Fun by Mr Jess Perry) and A Game Dame (First N Kool-Miss Game Tee by Game Patriot). Jess A Comment won the Adequan Retama Park Derby Challenge on August 11 for his second-consecutive win and has been rested since that effort. The Guy Hopkins-trained gelding has qualified for the Texas Classic Futurity (G1), TQHA Sale Futurity (RG2), John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge (G3) and TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby (RG3). A Game Dame won the May 19 Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge. Last year, she won the TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity (RG2) and has earnings of $88,320.

The complete field in post position order, from the inside out, including jockey and morning-line odds:

Painted Lies, Cody Smith, 8-to-1
Huckleberry Mojito, Juan Vazquez, 6-to-1
Fols Jessie, J.L. Cruz, 4-to-1
Attack The Cartel, Ramon Sanchez, 8-to-1
Ultimate Wave, Esgar Ramirez, 5-to-1
Special Awards, Cody McDaniel, 20-to-1
A Game Dame, Stormy Smith, 12-to-1
Jess A Comment, Cody Jensen, 6-to-1
Second Painted Sign, G.R. Carter Jr., 10-to-1
Mr Taka B, Freddie Martinez, 12-to-1
Exciting The Planet, Mark Luark, 20-to-1

John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2),
race #9, 10:20 p.m. CT


The Horton Racing LLC homebred Heroes Heart will have home track advantage in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) and is the morning-line favorite. The race brings together top 2-year-olds over 350 yards.

Heroes Heart (Valiant Hero-Sweethearts Quicksix by Sixarun) made two starts here this year – the trials and finals to the John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Championship – and won both. She has never been worse than third in four career starts. Charley Hunt will send out the daughter of Valiant Hero, whose half sister Snow Burn won the 2008 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1).

Rockin J Running Horses and Jack Manning’s Rockin Disco (Rock Solid Jess-Check This Disco by Check Him Out) put together a promising summer at Ruidoso Downs when he won his trial and final of the John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge (G3) and then his All American Futurity (G1) trial in successive starts. The Mike Wakefield-trained gelding surprised at 9-to-1 odds in the John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge when he got up at the wire to defeat Llano Cartel by a head.

Alan and Tawn Perkins’ Sheaintcrynrealtears (Jet Cartel-Tear Drop Six by Sixarun) has been a close second in her latest three outs against solid company. After finishing just a neck behind Adoring Jess as the 3-to-2 favorite in the August 11 John Deere Retama Juvenile Challenge, she was second by a neck in her Dash For Cash Futurity trial and then second by a head in the September 29 Dash For Cash Juvenile (R) at Lone Star Park.

Ronald Martin and Randal Dees’ All Out Arrogant (FDD Dynasty-Oh So Arrogant by Chicks Beduino) made the trip from Los Alamitos in Southern California after finishing second in the August 28 John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge. The Cody Joiner-trained gelding won back-to-back races at Los Alamitos before the John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge.

Noel Prieto’s Brace For Bernal (Furyofthewind-Zoom Bracer by Shazoom) and Cynthia Gonzalez’s Jess Like Stoli (Stoli-Miss Jess Rogue by Mr Jess Perry) both come off regional victories. Brace For Bernal won the September 30 John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge by a half length at 30-to-1 odds while Jess Like Stoli won the October 14 John Deere Turf Paradise Juvenile Challenge by a scant nose at nearly 3-to-1 odds.

The complete field in post position order, from the inside out, including jockey and morning-line odds:

Brace For Bernal, Paul Nieto, 15-to-1
Jess Like Stoli, Esgar Ramirez, 8-to-1
All Out Arrogant, G.R. Carter Jr., 5-to-1
Rockin Disco, Russel Hadley, 9-to-2
Heroes Heart, Stormy Smith, 4-to-1
Rogue County, Doug Frink, 20-to-1
RG Tres Effort, Mark Luark, 12-to-1
Ms Eaves, Alfonso Lujan, 8-to-1
Sheaintcrynrealtears, Juan Vazquez, 6-to-1
RC Had To Be My Day, Cody Jensen, 10-to-1
Rightamountofwrong, Ramon Sanchez, 15-to-1

Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1),
race #10, 10:45 p.m. CT


The $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) is the headlining event of the night and goes off as the 10th race on the card, with post time at 10:45 p.m.

Champion Rylees Boy has been installed as the 7-to-2 morning line favorite. All-time leading trainer Paul Jones has training duties on the 7-year-old son of Heza Motor Scooter who is enjoying his fourth consecutive trip to the Challenge Championships. Rylees Boy (Heza Motor Scooter-Pipistrelle by Rocky Jones) will break from Post 9 under the handling of Ramon Sanchez. In 2009, Rylees Boy was third and in 2010 and 2011, he finished second in this race. The reigning champion aged gelding races for Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez of Surprise, Arizona.

Rylees Boy’s stablemate is 4-year-old Dash Glory Ease (Holland Ease-Medvedev (TB) by Minstrel Glory), who makes his United States debut for breeder Haras Fazenda Bela Ltd. of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He will win the frequent flyer award, as he has been flown in from Brazil, where in February he won the Bank of America South American Championship Challenge.

Three-time Grade 1 winner Llano Teller (Teller Cartel-Annie Eye Over by Mr Eye Opener) is also set to contest the race. An earner of $1,687,347, Llano Teller races for breeder Terry Wootan’s Wootan Racing of Llano, Texas, in partnership with Reed Land & Cattle Co. This year, Llano Teller was second to world champion Cold Cash 123 in the Leo Stakes (G1), then won the Bank of America Remington Championship Challenge (G2). He was third in the Remington Park Invitational Championship (G1) and, in September, was second to Jorge Gonzalez’s Ethics Aside (Mr Jess Perry-Daring Difference by Victory Dash) in the Bank of America Prairie Meadows Championship Challenge.

Jorge Haddad’s homebred Giorgino (Apollo (TB)-Las Alamitos by First Down Dash) won three stakes as a juvenile and is still a dangerous stakes horse as a 4-year-old. The stallion has made three starts this fall at Prairie Meadows, with a second in the October 6 Prairie Meadows Bonus Challenge and a third in the August 18 Keokuk Stakes (G3).

The complete field in post position order, from the inside out, including jockey and morning-line odds:

A Spring Snow, Tony Guymon, 6-to-1
Dash Glory Ease, Cesar DeAlba, 10-to-1
Giorgino, Agustin Silva, 15-to-1
Llano Teller, G.R. Carter Jr., 9-to-2
Fearles Fred, Freddie Martinez, 12-to-1
Fast Fifty, Mark Luark, 15-to-1
Patriots Glory, Elliot Bachicha Jr., 8-to-1
Kool Country Man, Alfonso Lujan, 20-to-1
Rylees Boy, Ramon Sanchez, 7-to-2
A Royal Dervish, Never Marin, 6-to-1
Ethics Aside, Oscar Delgado, 10-to-1

Pfizer Starter Allowance Challenge Championship,
race #11, 11:10 p.m. CT


Aint Eye Kool has been installed as the early favorite in the evenly matched $75,000 Pfizer Starter Allowance Challenge Championship. The 350-yard Pfizer Starter Allowance Challenge Championship is dedicated to the working-class claiming horses who comprise the majority of horses racing throughout the United States. Each of the horses in the Pfizer Starter Allowance Challenge Championship will be competing for the largest purse of their careers.

The 4-year-old gelding (First N Kool-Aint I An Eyeopener by Mr Eye Opener) races for David Alaniz of Odessa, Texas, and enters the race off a season that includes three wins and one second in four starts. In his two most recent starts, he won the Pfizer SunRay Starter Allowance Challenge by a length, then took a SunRay starter allowance by nearly 2 lengths. The winner of six of 24 starts, Aint Eye Kool has won $53,882 in his career. He is trained by John Stinebaugh.

Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Oklahoma, owns two of the starters in the race, including Pfizer Prairie Meadows Starter Allowance Challenge winner Zoomfection, as well as Pfizer Will Rogers Starter Allowance Challenge winner JA Sundance. Both are trained by Brian Muse.

Zoomfection (Shazoom-Dashs Perfection by Dash For Cash) has competed from the $5,000 to the $15,000 claiming level this year. He was second for a $15,000 tag two starts ago and then won the September 15 Pfizer Prairie Meadows Starter Allowance Challenge for his second win from four starts over the track. JA Sundance (Gol-JA Sofisticated Lady by First Down Dash) won a $10,000 claiming race at Will Rogers Downs and scored by a length in the September 30 Pfizer Will Rogers Starter Allowance Challenge.

Miguel Banuelos’ Senor Fish (Fishers Dash-First Place Affair by First Place Dash) is in sharp form. The gelding was third in the $21,000 Fair Meadows Maturity on July 7 and then won two $10,000 starter allowances at Prairie Meadows, both by a half length, one at 220 yards and the other at 250 yards.

The Jose Antonio Moreno-owned and -trained Moonin The Chicks (Looking For Chicks-Your First Moon by First Down Dash) makes his first start away from Los Alamitos. The gelding has won five of seven starts this year and took a $30,000 claiming race in a quick :15.30 for the 300 yards on September 28 before shipping to Prairie Meadows.

The complete field in post position order, from the inside out, including jockey and morning-line odds:

Zoomfection, Stormy Smith, 6-to-1
First Time Ta Town, Cody Jensen, 10-to-1
Summit Bid, G.R. Carter Jr., 8-to-1
Eyes Movin, Juan Vazquez, 15-to-1
Aint Eye Kool, Esgar Ramirez, 4-to-1
Moonin The Chicks, Gaspar Garcia, 9-to-2
JA Sundance, Josh Romero, 8-to-1
Oh My Gol Sis, Oscar Delgado, 10-to-1
Senor Fish, Jose Montoya, 5-to-1
Dear Henry, Freddie Martinez, 12-to-1

Fans can watch all of the Bank of America Challenge Championship races live and free of charge on Q-Racing Video, a service of AQHA Racing and the Q-Racing Journal. Q-Racing Video offers horsemen and handicappers unparalleled access to American Quarter Horse racing. Users have unlimited access to the live simulcast signals of almost every American Quarter Horse racetrack in the United States and Canada. Q-Racing Video also provides unlimited access to race replays, which are available immediately following each race. The archive of past races goes back several years for most tracks. Fans can register at www.qracingvideo.com.