Remington Challenge Preview

Remington Park hosts Challenge stakes.

Q-Racing Journal
May 8, 2014

The interesting matchup between the up-and-coming River Wind and stakes veteran BF Farm Boy in the $110,000-added Bank of America Remington Championship Challenge (G2) heads an evening highlighted by Challenge stakes on Sunday night at the Oklahoma City track.

Each of the winners receives a berth in their respective stakes during the Bank of America Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows on October 18.

The Joe Williams homebred River Wind (Furyofthewind-Dream Diva by First Wrangler) steps up in class, but is in prime form with a 2-for-2 record this year at Remington Park. He returned from a six-month layoff on March 28 to easily handle his rivals in a 330-yard $26,600 conditioned allowance race by a length in a smart :16.367. The Michelle Hurdle-trained gelding then won the second of two Bank of America Remington Challenge trials by 1 1/4 lengths with the fastest time of :21.815 for the 440 yards.

River Wind has found success in Challenge races. He was second in the 2012 $27,500 John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge and capped his two 2013 starts with a close second-place run in the 2013 Adequan Will Rogers Derby Challenge.

Don Boyle and Wade Siegel’s BF Farm Boy (Hawkinson-Shirleys Strawfly by Strawfly Special.) A brother to champion and Ruidoso Downs’ 440-yard track record holder Strawkins, BF Farm Boy has also shown an affinity for longer distances. The 6-year-old gelding won his Bank of America Remington Challenge trial by 1 1/2 lengths and his time of :21.848 was the second-fastest mark. He was the 4-5 favorite in his trial and could grab the favorite’s role in the Bank of America Remington Championship Challenge.

Last year at Prairie Meadows, he won the Two Rivers Stakes (G3) and the Keokuk Stakes (G3). He made his 2014 debut for trainer William Harris in the Leo Stakes (G1) and came through with a third-place run in the 400-yard test.

R.D. Hubbard, Molly Morris and Johnny Cope’s The Magic Dash (First Down Dash-Thewayouwantmetoo by Mr Eye Opener) was second behind River Wind in their trial in his first start since September. The Sleepy Gilbreath-trained gelding qualified for the $2.8 million All American Derby (G1), but had a very troubled trip at 9-2 odds and finished last.

Other stakes on the Challenge-dominated card are the $40,000 Red Cell Remington Distance Challenge (G3) and the $35,000-added Merial Remington Distaff Challenge.

JK Running Horses LLC’s Mixed Fantasy (Okey Dokey Fantasy-Mixin Sixin by Streakin Six) shapes up as the horse to beat in the Red Cell Remington Distance Challenge with his four-race winning streak, all at distances more than 440 yards. The Kenny Lymon-trained gelding won the Covered Bridges Stakes (G3) at Prairie Meadows last October 2 1/4 lengths. Mixed Fantasy made his 2014 debut in the $38,000 SLM Big Daddy Stakes over 550 yards at Remington Park and responded with a strong finish and a three-quarter-length score. He then took the second of two Red Cell Remington Distance Challenge trials by 2 lengths with the top time of :45.887.

In the Merial Remington Distaff Challenge, Johnny Trotter and Burnett Ranches LLC’s Entrap (Stel Corona-Separate Tac by Separatist) led the top-three qualifiers across the finish line when she won the first of two trials by one-half length over Shanachee (Country Chicks Man-Court Etiquette by Corona Cartel). The Trey Wood-trained Entrap prevailed by one-half length in :20.026 while facing a stiff headwind. She has won two of her latest three starts with her other score a three-quarter-length tally in a $23,800 conditioned allowance race back on March 15.

Last fall at Lone Star Park, Entrap was beaten by just a neck to finish third in the Merial Lone Star Distaff Challenge, her only other stakes appearance.

J. Garvan Kelly’s Shanachee was the 2-1 favorite in the trial after a fourth-place finish in the $57,200 Decketta Stakes (G3). She won the $20,000 AQHA Members Stakes over distaffers last fall at Los Alamitos.

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