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Championship at Sunland Brims With Talent

Prospect To The Top looks to rebound in Championship at Sunland Park.

Q-Racing Journal
December 27, 2013

Joel Tavarez’s two-time champion Prospect To The Top looks to regain his winning form after a troubled trip in the Zia Park Championship (G1) when he meets a very competitive field over 400 yards in the $350,000 The Championship at Sunland Park (G1) on Sunday afternoon.

Prospect To The Top (Coronas Prospect-Cream To The Top by Easily Smashed) is the defending winner of The Championship at Sunland Park. He won last year’s edition by a half length as the 5-2 favorite to secure the 2012 champion aged stallion title.

The Brandon Muniz-trained stallion returned after a spring breeding mares to win the $40,000 All American Gold Cup (G3) at Ruidoso Downs and the $55,000 James Isaac Hobbs Stakes (G2) before his troubled seventh-place finish in the $150,480 Zia Park Championship (G1) as the 4-5 favorite.

Prospect To The Top earned 2011 champion 3-year-old colt honors when he won the $151,659 Hobbs America Derby (G2) and the $160,400 West Texas Derby (G3) while finishing second in the $1.3 million All American Derby (G1).

T-Bill Stables’ homebred Cold Cash 123 (Oak Tree Special-Hot Cash 123 by Takin On The Cash) is another champion looking to return to the winner’s circle. The 2011 world champion is winless in the four starts since taking the $101,304 Bank of America Remington Park Challenge (G2) back in May.

The Sleepy Gilbreath-trained gelding has shown sharp form in his two latest starts at Los Alamitos, he just hasn’t grabbed the win. He was second by a neck in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) as the 9-5 favorite and then third behind Significant Heart and Hez Our Secret in the $15,000 Z. Wayne Griffin Director’s Trial, making him the next horse in line to get into the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1). He didn’t get into the Champion of Champions and shipped to Sunland Park.

Cold Cash 123 earned his world title with wins in $350,000 The Championship at Sunland Park (G1), $900,000 Rainbow Derby (G1) and the $335,631 Texas Classic Derby (G1).

Johnny Trotter’s Hez Our Secret (First Down Dash-Secret Separation by Separatist) returns after a very troubled ninth-place run in the Champion of Champions when he had no chance after the start. He was second to Ochoa in the $150,000 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Championship (G1) and then earned his spot in the Champion of Champions when he was second by a neck in the Director’s Trial as the 8-5 favorite.

The Trey Wood-trained 4-year-old was the 2012 champion 3-year-old colt with seconds in the $2.2 million All American Derby (G1) and the $948,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) while finishing fourth in the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1).

R.D. Hubbard and Heysol Howlet’s Feature Mr Bojangles (Feature Mr Jess-Catch This Dash by First Down Dash) has been beaten by a neck in each of his latest four starts, all graded stakes. He was third in the All American Gold Cup, fourth as the favorite in the $75,000 Refrigerator Handicap (G1), second in the $55,000 Lovington Stakes (G2) and second in the Zia Park Championship.

Feature Mr Bojangles earned the 2011 champion 2-year-old colt title with wins in the $700,000 Rainbow Futurity (G1), $295,943 Hobbs America Futurity (G2) and the $120,000 Four Corners Futurity.

Richard Sturdevant and Terry Wootan’s DM Streakn Thru Fire (Walk Thru Fire-Sashay N Six by Sixarun) tries to prove that his 27-1 upset win in the Zia Park Championship was not a fluke. The Mike Joiner-trained gelding posted his only other 2013 win when he won over 870 yards in his trial to the Red Cell Sunland Park Distance Challenge (G3).

A year ago, DM Streakn Thru Fire was second in the $150,000 Zia Park Championship and fifth in $350,000 The Championship at Sunland Park.