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Go For Fame makes a Challenge double

July 22, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

Go For Fame and jockey Cody Jensen win MBNA America Northwest Challenge
(photo by Gene Wilson & Associates)
By Phyllis Tryon
Gary and Jeralyn Messenger’s 4-year-old Go For Fame won the $23,760 AQHA MBNA John Deere Distaff Challenge on May 8 at Sun Downs in Kennewick, Washington, thus qualifying to the Challenge finals on November 5 at Los Alamitos Racecourse in California, but the owners thought she had more to give and were willing to test her mettle.

Their thinking proved correct, as the daughter of Floyd de Great out of Sold On Fame, by Dash Ta Fame, got up for the win by a nose in the $70,740 MBNA America Northwest Challenge (Grade 2) at Wyoming Downs in Evanston on July 10.

“We were pretty darn happy!” exclaimed Jeralyn Messenger about the outcome. “All of our kids and grandkids were there!” Messenger noted. The Messengers bred their filly in Idaho.

Go For Fame was second in her trial outing to the finals and third fastest overall qualifier. Jockey Cody Jensen had the leg up for both the trial run and the finals, and Messenger said that before the trials, “Cody said, ‘I’m just going to hang on to her and not beat her up,’ as all we wanted to do was qualify. He never laid a stick on her.”

Go For Fame broke rough in the finals, coming ninth out of the 8-hole and then working hard to catch up.

“She usually stumbles when she breaks, because she breaks so hard she usually goes down,” Messenger noted.

By deep stretch, it was a duel between Go For Fame and Streakin Kilobyte, with Go For Fame coming up a nose in front at the wire in a time of :21.523 for the win over the 440 yard distance. She picked up $35,370 of the total purse and earned a speed index of 112.

That brings her lifetime earnings to approximately $116,000 with 11 wins (5 stakes), 7 seconds (3 stakes) and 1 third in 21 starts.
“It was really close! It was an exciting race, let me tell you. She won it by just a little teeny bit,” Messenger said. “Now we have two places in the Challenge. And we don’t know yet what we’re going to do.”

Trainer Bret Vickery may take her to Los Alamitos in September and give her an out under the lights before the Challenge finals in November.

Go For Fame was last year’s Northwest Hi-Point Three-year-old Filly and winner of the Bayer Legend Northwest Challenge race at Boise. She finished her three-year-old season with a fourth place finish in the Challenge Championship finals at Houston, Texas. The Messengers also ran Wranglin Easy in the $48,690 Bayer Legend Northwest Derby on July 17 at Wyoming Downs. The horse ran fifth after being fractious in the gate.

Following Go For Fame at the wire of the MBNA America Northwest Challenge, Streakin Kilobyte held on for second with Tony Guymon on board to earn $14,148. Streakin Kilobyte is owned by Sammy and Johnny Martinez and trained by Sammy. Changing Leaders was third under the reins of Kelly Wahlen for owners Glynis and Ronald Hurst and trainer Sherm Hadley.
Rest of the field, with owners: Biscuit Snatcher, Rod and Sharon Jensen; Proud Lil Lady, Lorrie and Richard Scudder; Buddy B Gone, Guy Weimer; Moving Meter, Brenda Hoover; Legendary Dreamer, Mark and Peggy Brown; and See You in Court (dq’d from 7 to 9), Larry Chapple and John Radin. Scratched was Brewskies Express.