Bank of America Remington Park Challenge

Bank of America Remington Park Challenge

Mi Amor Secreto wins in his season debut.

Mi Amor Secreto 2020 Bank of America Remington Challenge. PHOTO: Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park

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Making his first start of his 5-year-old campaign, Kelly Perez's Mi Amor Secreto sprinted to a neck victory in Saturday's 440-yard, $71,528 Bank of America Remington Championship Challenge (G2) at Remington Park.

Mi Amor Secreto covered his quarter-mile trip in :21.392 and posted a 97 speed index while racing against a reported 9-mph head wind. Jose Alvarez rode the homebred chestnut son of The Louisiana Cartel for trainer Marcos Carrizales.

Mi Amor Secreto returned a $10 win mutuel as the 4-1 second choice in the 10-horse field. Fenian Faith, a 38-1 longshot, ran second. Valiant Tiberias, the 7-10 favorite, crossed the wire third but was disqualified and placed ninth for lugging in after the start.

“We knew that (Valiant Tiberias) was good, but we were confident we could win,” said Alvarez. “Our horse had been training good and is real sound and can run 440. That favorite is really good, but we were not afraid.”

Mi Amor Secreto was bred in Texas, and he was making his first start since December 14, when he ran second, a half of a length behind winner He Looks Hot, in the 440-yard, $600,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos. Raced in four states, the gelding has won five of 19 starts, including last year's Grade 1, 440-yard Albuquerque Fall Championship at Albuquerque Downs, and the $32,903 winner's share of the purse from his third career stakes score pushed his bankroll to $478,765.

“He beat a good group of horses today,” Carrizales said of Mi Amor Secreto, who landed a berth in this year's $250,000 Bank of America Challenge Champioship (G1) at Albuquerque Downs. “I felt like he was going to run that kind of race.”

Viva Le Don was placed third after the disqualification of Valiant Tiberias. Kowboy Jim was placed fourth and was followed officially by Charlies Fury, This Is A Deal Too, Five Bar Stoli, T Velocity, Valiant Tiberias, and PYC Jess Bite Mydust.

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