Fastest Qualifiers Sweep Retama Challenge Races

Raising Kain, DM Red Tide score stakes wins.

August 11, 2013

The fastest qualifiers prevailed in both of the Bank of America Racing Challenge stakes on Saturday night at Retama Park, although neither winner was favored in the races held over a slopped sealed track near San Antonio.

In the $54,810 John Deere Retama Juvenile Challenge, Pete Scarmardo’s Raising Kain followed up on his dominant win in the trials with a convincing victory in the final as the 3-1 third choice. Ridden by Francisco Calderon for trainer Leon Bard, the Texas-bred gelding opened up an early lead and crossed the wire a half-length in front with a clocking of :17.827 for 350 yards. The victory was worth $25,213 and an invitation to compete in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) on November 9 at Los Alamitos.

Bred by Jo Scarmardo, Raising Kain became the first stakes winner sired by the First Down Dash stallion Down N Dash, who is also owned by Pete Scarmardo.

Filimon Saucedo’s Cristata, who finished third in the John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge (G3) in May, took second as the 2-1 favorite. The Fast Lane Partnership’s homebred Eye Agree closed fast for third.

The $48,690 Adequan Retama Derby Challenge went to Juan Escalante’s DM Red Tide, who went off at odds of nearly 6-1 despite being the fastest qualifier. Piloted by Cipriano Vidana for trainer Jorge Muniz, DM Red Tide prevailed by a nose in :20.036 for 400 yards.

Claimed for just $5,000 earlier this year at Remington Park, DM Red Tide picked up his richest victory by far with a first-place check for $22,397 and a berth in the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G1). Bred in Oklahoma by Don Moler, DM Red Tide has now earned $52,652 with a record of 17-3-4-3.

Jacobo Mejia’s Bulletsinthegun closed to take second at odds of 14-1. James On The Run, a stakes winner last year at Hialeah Park, took third for owner Rancho Los Dos Portillos LLC. Favored Llano Cartel finished fourth.