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Challenge Championships Approach

This celebration of American Quarter Horse racing begins on October 23.

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The Quarter Horse racing world is looking forward to its visit to Albuquerque, as Albuquerque Downs for the first time hosts the American Quarter Horse Association Bank of America Challenge Championships on Saturday, October 26.

“They ran regional Challenge races at 17 different tracks in eight states and two Canadian provinces this year,” said TRACK Magazine’s Ben Hudson, who was a member of the original AQHA Task Force that created the program some 30 years ago. “For various reasons, not every horse that won a Regional Challenge will be in Albuquerque for the big night, but it will be a great night of racing with good horses in the Championships and undercard races.

”There’s not a better place anywhere than October in New Mexico,” he added.

The Zaborowsky family of Brazil, including Mauro Zaborowsky and Marcos Zaborowsky, will be in Albuquerque to watch their homebred mare Yashira Vista compete in the 400-yard, $100,000 ARC AQHA Distaff Challenge Championship (G1). A daughter of One Famous Eagle, Yashira Vista qualified to the race by winning the August 10 ARC Ruidoso Distaff Challenge at Ruidoso Downs Racetrack.

“We’re giving them the TRACK Magazine Trophy for Traveling the Longest Distance to See My Horse Run in the AQHA Challenge Championship Award,” Hudson said.

Ten Quarter Horse stakes will be contested at Albuquerque Downs on Challenge Championships night. October 26. First post time is set for 6:05 p.m. (MDT). The five graded stakes run that night will be topped by the 440-yard, $250,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1), which offers its winner a starting berth in the December 14, $600,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos Race Course, Quarter Horse racing’s richest and most prestigious race for older horses.

The other graded Challenge Championship stakes schedule for that night are:

400-yard, $150,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3)
350-yard, $125,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2)
870-yard, $100,000 AQHA Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1)
400-yard, $100,000 ARC Distaff Challenge Championship (G1)

Albuquerque Downs Racetrack and Casino is located in the heart of Albuquerque at Expo New Mexico, the home of the New Mexico State Fair, and general admission and parking (via the casino entrance on Louisiana and Central) are always free. For more information, visit and click on the “Racing” link at the top of the homepage.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit