ATTENTION: The AQHA office will be closed Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28, in observance of Thanksgiving. We look forward to serving you again Monday, December 1. 

De Passem Okey Earns a Win in Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship

November 19, 2010

He had to earn it, but De Passem Okey stepped into the winner’s circle of the $125,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1), earning his first Grade 1 win and first graded stakes.

Guided by G.R. Carter, Jr., De Passem Okey dueled on the outside with Bad Act but proved best to beat the This Snow is Royal gelding by three-quarters of a length, finishing the 870 yards in :45.702.

“I really liked the post position draw and how this race set up,” said Carter. “I just let him break, and he got off the shoulder of Bad Act. He changed leads when he was supposed to and made me look good.”

The sorrel gelding by Okey Dokey Dale won the Walter Merrick Memorial Stakes (R) in July and the Red Cell Will Rogers Distance Challenge in October where he set a new track record.

He is a 4-year-old out of the Sir Richard Lewis (TB) mare Impassable Gal (TB), and he is the mare’s first foal. His current earnings are now $162,756, and he has won 10 of 24 starts.

Running for Steve A. Holt of Guthrie, Oklahoma, De Passem Okey was trained by Rodney Reed.

"I felt really good about (this race). I liked the post position we drew, and I felt good about G.R. (Carter, Jr.) riding him,” said Reed.

Taking second and beating Bonified Man by a neck, Bad Act was bumped at the start, dueled on the inside but was outfinished at the wire. He has now earned $260,865 in his career. Stormy Smith guided Bonified Man to the third place finish.

“He left there and ran to the front like he was supposed to. He just got outrun today,” said Smith. “He did his job just like he was supposed to – just like they said he would. He’s a cool old horse.”

Owned by Hemerio Hernandez of Norwalk, Califonia, Bad Act won the Red Cell Turf Paradise Distance Challenge in October and was second in the 2007 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1).

Sheet Burns was fourth, followed by Ride Em Cowboys, Apollo Rocks, Mountain Man and Stone E Motion.

With William Ives in the irons, favorite Stone E Motion had a slow start, was four-wide in the turn and finished last. The gray gelding is owned by Lori Harris and was trained by William Harris.

“It was nowhere near what we planned. He wasn’t right tonight. I’m not sure why exactly, but he did not want to run. He wasn’t in it,” said Ives. “He didn’t give me near the effort that he usually does. About halfway through the turn he just kind of started fighting with me. We straightened out for home, and I got him into his right lead and he responded for about 50 yards, but then he just kind of floated down through there (to the finish). It just wasn’t his night.”