Trio of Challenge Races at Les Bois

Idaho track sends three horses on to the Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows.
July 27, 2014

Under jockey Dirk Crane, Sign Of Corona went wire-to-wire in track record time to win the $36,356 Adequan Les Bois Derby Challenge by 1½ lengths as the Idaho track hosted three Bank of America Racing Challenge events on Saturday. Micato finished second, a length in front of post-time favorite Time For Jesse Lee.

Racing for RTM Stables LLC and Carol McKinney, Sign Of Corona completed the 400 yards in :19.235 seconds, a 110 speed index to set a new Les Bois Park track record. The previous record of :19.310 was established on July 6, 2013, by JR Dynasty Mountain.

Mark Hanson saddled the Coronas Fast Dash New Mexico-bred from the Vital Sign mare Electric Sign. It was third win in six starts for the 3-year-old whose now has $29,150 in earnings. Greg Creager is the breeder.

Sign Of Corona has also earned a starting spot in the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G1) during Bank of America Challenge Championships Night at Prairie Meadows on October 18.

Hanson also saddled Micato, an Ivory James son bred in Oklahoma from the Special Effort mare Special Crys. Hanson co-owns the 3-year-old with Ryan Hanson. Alex Jimenez was aboard the Bobby D. Cox-bred gelding. He earned $7,271 for the effort.

Multiple stakes winner Time For Jesse Lee stumbled at the start but recovered to pick up $3,636 for third. Monty Arrossa trains the Jim Walker homebred by Mr Jesse Lee out of Time For Noble, by Mescallero Chick.

Eagle B Gone, BH Country Chrome, Harvey Johnson, Super Cooper and Vandi Dani completed the field.

Honoroso Impresses in Red Cell Distance Victory
Fastest qualifier Honoroso, the 2013 champion distance horse, got his fifth straight win with an impressive wire-to-wire effort in the $26,099 Red Cell Les Bois Distance Challenge, three lengths in front of CMB Numero Uno. KR Howdoyoulikemenow was another 4¼ lengths back in the show spot.

Ridden by jockey Alex Jimenez for trainer Mark Hanson, the Fly Jess Fly 5-year-old covered the 870 yards in a quick :44.293 seconds, a 111 speed index. Owned by RTM Stables LLC and Richard N Gardner, the Utah-bred visited the winner's circle for the 12th time his career. The $12,528 winner's purse boosted the graded stakes winner's total to more than $103,000.

Honoroso also earned a starting spot in the $125,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1) at Prairie Meadows. Sassy Farms LLC bred Honoroso from the Spanish Boot mare Abla Espanol.

CMB Numero Uno, who was also second to Honoroso in the July 12 trials, earned $5,350 for his second-place effort. Nick Cronquist conditions the Dos Poruno gelding for Craig Giles and Alisha Jardine. CMB Don Keys Racing Stable bred the 6-year-old in Idaho from the Herger's Best (TB) mare Shergars Revenge (TB).

KR Howdoyoulikemenow earned $2,610 for his third-place effort. Dru Hall saddled the Scrutinizer 7-year-old for owner Marvin Christensen. Ed and Mark Kyler bred the 7-year-old in Alberta from the Six Fols mare KR Check Me Out. Luis Gonzalez had the riding assignment.

Completing the field were LS Little Sam, Hey Wont You Play, Jess A Traffic Jam and Cascade Dynamite. Bogie was scratched.

Zoetis Starter Allowance Challenge
Fastest qualifier Fergilicious returned to punch his ticket for Prairie Meadows as he was best late to defeat A Corona Habit by a nose in the $19,348 Zoetis Les Bois Starter Allowance Challenge.

The Volcom 4-year-old races for owner/breeder Michael McKay and Pat Van Pelt. McKay also handles training duties. Never Marin rode the mare to a :17.487 clocking, a 96 speed index over the 350 yards. The $8,901 winner's purse pushed Fergilicious' earnings mark to just over $21,000.

The Idaho-bred miss, out of JN Sonoma Rose by Meter Me Gone, is now eligible to compete in the $75,000 Zoetis Starter Allowance Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows.

Nikeela Black rode A Corona Habit for owners Clayton and Kaye Russell and trainer Mark Skeen. Mark and Peggy Brown bred the chestnut 3-year-old by Corona Czech in Idaho from the Merridoc mare Playful Habit. He earned $3,870.

Heza Beer Man finished a head back in third for owner Linda Arrossa. Monty Arrossa conditions the Corona For Me gelding out of Sheza Gator, by Heza Fast Man. Luis Gonzalez was aboard to earn $1,935.

Classic Blush, Brule, KR Dont Blink and Stolen Gun Runner completed the field.

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