Strong Fields Set for Bank of America Trials at Sunland

Defending race champion Feature Mr Who among the horses entered in the trials.
March 16, 2014

A strong group of Bank of America Racing Challenge-enrolled 3-year-olds and up will face each other in two trials on Tuesday, March 18, at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. The fastest 10 qualifiers will return to the Southeastern New Mexico raceway on Sunday, April 6, to vie for the winner's share of a $100,000-added purse at the classic American Quarter Horse distance of 440 yards in the Bank of America Sunland Championship Challenge (G2).

The winner will also garner an invite to the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) to be contested on Bank of America Challenge Championships night at Prairie Meadows on Saturday, October 18.

Defending race champion Feature Mr Who will make his 2014 debut in the first trial for owners Heysol Howlet and Julieta Torres. Jose Luis Muela conditions the 5-year-old who has won six of 19 lifetime starts and earned $228,776.

The Feature Mr Jess gelding comes into the race off a close finish in the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (G1) in his last start, December 29. Alonso Rivera has been tapped to take over riding duties from Esgar Ramirez.

Gentry Farms' Scatmandu enters the first trial off a fourth-place finish in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) on February 16. Michael Joiner will handle the Scatt Daddy (TB) 4-year-old, who also finished a close second in the $953,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) last November. Salvador Martinez will ride the homebred earner of more than $257,000.

A multiple stakes winner of nearly $375,000, Rabbit Revival will start in the first trial for owner Linnette Sanchez and trainer Alfredo Sanchez. The nine-time winner comes into the race off an optional claiming race victory in his first start this year on January 3. His only win last season was a 2 ¼-length effort in the Brigand Silk Stakes at Ruidoso Downs. Regular rider Antonio Escareno has been named to ride.

Last year’s La Plata Stakes winner Jump Down Azoom will also race in the first trial for owner Crowson Racing. Joel Valeriano Jr. will saddle the Azoom winner of $112,203. Manuel Gutierrez will ride.

West Texas Maturity (G3) runner-up Testing The Ice will head the second trial for owner Rancho Los Dos Potrillos LLC. Maro Sanchez conditions the Stoli earner of more than $280,000. Alonso Rivera will ride the 5-year-old who was also second, by a neck, to champion Prospect To The Top in the All American Gold Cup (G3) at Ruidoso last season.

JJs Gone will make his first start in the second trial since finishing second to Wicked Courage in the $1,055,000 Rainbow Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs last July. Victor Rodriguez-Flores conditions the Mr Jess Perry gelding for Maegan Cavasos. Leading rider Esgar Ramirez will ride the earner of more than $206,000.

A multiple graded stakes-placed earner of nearly $130,000, WDC Wendys Wine will start in trial 2 for owner/trainer Alonzo Armanda and his wife, Sylvia. The 5-year-old Woodbridge mare was third to Feature Mr Who and Jess Featureme Quick in last year's Bank of America Sunland Championship Challenge. Manuel Gutierrez will ride.

All Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino racing can been seen at The Bank of America trials will be run as Race 1 and 2 on Tuesday with first post set for 12:55 p.m. (MDT).

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