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Budj, Special Task Force in MBNA Challenge at Turf Paradise

October 19, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Turf Paradise hosts final 2006 Challenge Championship qualifier

Amarillo, Texas, October 19, 2006 – Fastest-qualifier Budj and the veteran Special Task Force, winners of the two trials, bring the two fastest qualifying times into the $84,780 MBNA America® West/Southwest Challenge (G2) on Sunday afternoon at Turf Paradise.

Rodrigo Gonzales’ Budj (Count Corona-Jetajing by Noble Pride) returned from a 13-month racing absence in August and has shown improving results, capped by a 2 ¼ length MBNA America West/Southwest Challenge trial win with the fastest-qualifying time. The 4-year-old gelding trained by Adan Farias raced the 440-yards in :21.447 for his first win of the year.

Budj has only started 17 times in three years, but has responded with eight wins, five seconds and a third.

David Barrett’s Special Task Force (Special Task-Katies Littlefoot by Sixarun) is still in top form as a 7-year-old with two wins in his latest two races. He held on to narrowly win the Labor Day Stakes at Ruidoso Downs and then raced to a game win in his MBNA America West/Southwest Challenge trial. He won by a neck with a :21.685 time.

Special Task Force has been a tough campaigner throughout his 48 starts with 15 wins, 13 seconds and a pair of thirds. He has earned $428,423 and made only one start at 2, a fourth-place finish in a maiden race.

The winner of the MBNA America West/Southwest Challenge earns the final spot in the $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park on November 11.