River Wind in Will Rogers Challenge

River Wind leads juveniles in Challenge races at Will Rogers.

September 27, 2012

Joe Williams’ promising homebred River Wind dominated the trials to the $37,261 John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge and tries to step up in the John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge on Sunday, a day with three stakes races in the Bank of America Racing Challenge series.

Also on the card are the $39,150 Adequan Will Rogers Derby Challenge and the $34,560 Red Cell Will Rogers Distance Challenge.

The winners of each of the three races earn starting berths in their respective races during the Bank of America Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows on October 27.

River Wind (Furyofthewind-Dream Diva by First Wrangler) won his trial by 2 lengths with the fastest-qualifying mark of :17.562 for 350 yards and the second-fastest qualifier Sheza Runaway Chick (A Regal Choice-Winning Blast by Runaway Winner) was the second-fastest qualifier with a :17.890 time.

The Mollie Devereaux-trained River Wind was third in his career debut and then won his maiden in his second start, his out before his John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile trial.

Mike Howell’s homebred Sheza Runaway Chick is a maiden after three starts and the second-place finish in her trial was her best effort.

In the 400-yard Adequan Will Rogers Derby Challenge, Mary Passmore’s Second Painted Sign (PYC Paint Your Wagon-Stylish Sign by Vital Sign) chases his third-straight win and second-consecutive stakes victory. In his latest start, the Jackie Kirby-trained colt overcame a stumble at the start of the OHA Derby and then rallied to win by three quarters of a length as the 6-5 favorite.

Second Painted Sign has won five of 10 career starts and the OHA Derby for Oklahoma-breds is his sole stakes win.

Bowen Arrow Farms’ The Sunday Assassin (FDD Dynasty-Oh Dusty Bunny by Oh Shiney) returns after a winning an optional-claiming race at Remington Park in May. A year ago, the Robert Howard Dimmitt-trained gelding was a close second in the John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge.

In the Red Cell Distance Challenge, Salvador Pimienta’s Emperor Valerian (Heza Fast Dash-Sheeza Lil Val by Dashing Val) returns to 870 yards after winning the 550-yard Brigand Handicap at Ruidoso Downs on August 18. The 4-year-old gelding drew out to win by 1 1/4 lengths as the 5-2 favorite.

Emperor Valerian easily won a $23,000 allowance race at 870 yards at Remington Park back in April.

Bea Knight’s Apollo Rocks (Apollo (TB)- Aamerican Baby by Aamerican Speed) raced to a third-place finish behind De Passem Okey in the Remington Park Distance Championship (G3) for trainer Sam Howard. The 6-year-old gelding looks to move up after a third-place finish two weeks ago at Will Rogers.