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Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship: Honoroso, SRD Bobwirebob

October 17, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

Stories by Andrea Caudill, courtesy of AQHA

Defending champion Honoroso looks for a repeat win

Richard Garner and RTM Stables LLC’s champion Honoroso shoots for his seventh straight win and eighth win in his latest 10 starts when he defends his 2013 win in the $100,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1) at 870 yards.

Honoroso (Fly Jess Fly-Abla Espanol by Spanish Boot) won last year’s Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship when he opened up a one-length lead and held on to win by a neck. It was his most important victory on his way to the 2013 champion distance horse title.

Trained by Mark Hanson, Honoroso has thrived in Challenge events. The former $6,250 claimer in 2012 has advanced to gain wins in the 2013 $22,000 Red Cell Les Bois Park Distance Challenge and this year’s $26,000 Les Bois Park Distance Challenge two starts ago.

The 5-year-old gelding has 13 wins from 30 starts and finished on the board 24 times.

Bobby Cox’s homebred Wahoo (Feature Mr Jess-First To Celebrate by First Down Dash) is another horse in the midst of a season that could lead to a championship. The gelding won the $50,000 Pauls Valley Handicap (G3) and the $47,000 Red Cell Remington Park Distance Challenge (G3) before running second as the 8-5 favorite in the $50,000 Remington Park Distance Handicap (G3). Trainer John Buchanan then took him to Ruidoso Downs and he went from gate-to-wire to take the $30,000 Master Salls Handicap by one length. Each of his five 2014 starts have come at 870 yards.

JK Running Horses LLC’s Mixed Fantasy (Okey Dokey Fantasy-Mixin Sixin by Streakin Six) was second to Wahoo in the Red Cell Remington Park Distance Challenge before moving to Prairie Meadows. In his latest two starts at Prairie Meadows, he was second in the $30,000 Red Cell Prairie Meadows Distance Challenge (G3) and then pulled away to win the $25,000 Covered Bridges Stakes over 870 yards by three lengths.

Louis Howard’s Jessa Little Rusty (Mr Jess Perry-Rustys Quickid by Royal Quick Dash) won the $30,000 Benny Pennington Memorial Stakes three starts ago at Retama Park. The Russell Harris-trained gelding then was third to Wahoo in the Master Salls at Ruidoso Downs and then scored a second in the $39,000 Red Cell Lone Star Distance Challenge.

SRD Bobwirebob is a fighter

Sheila Dorgan’s homebred SRD Bobwirebob has had to prove himself a fighter since the very beginning.

“He earned his name,” said Dorgan. “When he was five days old, he got pushed into the barbed wire fence by his mother and took more than 100 stitches in his shoulder.”

While he still bears the scars on his shoulders, he has recovered fully from that traumatic start and has gone on to prove himself as a tough competitor. In September, the 5-year-old gelding won the $33,120 Red Cell Will Rogers Distance Challenge and collected his ticket to the Bank of America Challenge Championships.

As a freshman, SRD Bobwirebob was a rallying second to consistent stakes winner Country Boy Deluxe in the Hialeah El Nino Invitational in Florida, then finished a gaining fourth in the $193,150 South Florida Derby. He switched to distance races in late 2012, winning his first distance start.

Last year, he showed up consistently in the Oklahoma distance stakes, including a third-place finish in the Walter Merrick Memorial Stakes (R) at Fair Meadows.

He returned this spring to contest the Red Cell Remington Distance Challenge (G3), but had a poor trip and failed to contend. After a summer freshening, he returned with a prep at Will Rogers before the Red Cell Will Rogers Distance Challenge. Despite the handicap of the outside post, SRD Bobwirebob broke promptly, took control and won with authority.

“It was extremely exciting!” Dorgan said of the victory. “We’ve run in many Challenge races, and this was our first win.”

The win was SRD Bobwirebob’s fourth in 28 starts. He has won or placed in 13 of those starts, and earned a total of $87,043.

“He’s very nice to handle, but when it’s race time, he’ll drag you to the track,” his owner said. “He loves running.”

Dorgan is from Wayne, Oklahoma, and has been in the industry for 33 years, after her husband bought a yearling and gave it to her. A 20-year-breeder, she has bred 10 winners from 15 starters. Among them are stakes winners Sir Diligent ($75,393) and stakes-placed runners Mocashment ($33,349) and Unlikely Angel ($22,067).

SRD Bobwirebob is by Coronas Prospect out of the Thoroughbred mare Shouldabeenjoebob, a daughter of Lesley’s Express.

“We lost our good mare, she broke her leg,” Dorgan remembered of how she acquired Shoudabeenjoebob. “We had a good friend who had some really nice Thoroughbred mares. He thought we needed another one, so he gave us the mare. She’d never had a foal, so this was her first foal.”

They chose Corona Prospect as the sire because they liked his pedigree and breeding, and came up with an instant hit. The mare also has a gelding by Devons Signature named SRDS Signature, and a yearling full brother to SRD Bobwirebob named SRD Bobbin Coronas.

And when SRD Bobwirebob prepares to contest the $100,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1), his proud owner and breeder will be attendance.

“I’ve never visited Prairie Meadows, but always heard what a nice track it is,” she said. “I figured this was a good opportunity to go out and visit the track and watch the race.”