angle-left Q-Racing Blog: Celebrate the Challenge

Q-Racing Blog: Celebrate the Challenge

There is going to be a long weekend of fun, education and great racing.

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By Ty Wyant

It’s time for the annual celebration of the racing American Quarter Horse: The Bank of America Challenge Championships.

The variety of events is October 23-26 at The Downs at Albuquerque.

Albuquerque is an easy destination to reach. It is where Interstate 25 meets Interstate 40. If you fly to Albuquerque, you will find an easy airport to negotiate. Therefore, if you decide to attend, pack up and go. The host hotel is the Crowne Plaza (800-593-5447) and there are numerous other hotels.

The activities start on October 23, with the post-position draw at 10:30 a.m. in the First Turn Lounge in the Downs Casino.

The AQHA Racing Workshop begins at 9 a.m. on October 24 in the Rio Grande Room in the Crowne Plaza. Please RSVP with Kelly Flowers at or call her at 806-378-4365. 

Also, there are plenty of other fun activities. At 11 a.m. on October 24, the Downs Challenge Golf Tournament will be held at the Albuquerque Country Club. Register by October 21 by calling 505-400-5699. 

At noon on October 24, a Ladies Fashion Show Extravaganza, featuring fashion and jewelry and a champagne luncheon, is set for the First Turn Lounge at the racetrack. Reservations must be made with Beth McKinney at 505-400-5701.

On October 25, the day-long AQHA Racing Committee meeting begins at 8 a.m. in the Colorado/Texas Room at the Crowne Plaza. The Downs Championship Concert – featuring Little Texas and Rick Trevino – begins  at 7:30 p.m. in the Tingley Coliseum at The Downs. Get ready to dance, and it is open to all ages. 

“It is the introspective country music that digs deep into what is truly meaningful within us and what is truly beautiful in the human experience,” said a review of Trevino’s performance at the Las Cruces Country Music Festival.

On October 26, the events are plentiful. The Owner’s Recognition Brunch is scheduled for 10 a.m.  in the Southwest Ballroom in the Crowne Plaza, and then the AQHA Racing Council meeting is at noon in the Gomez Ballroom at the Crowne Plaza.

Then the ultimate event. First post time for the Bank of America Challenge Championships is 6:05 p.m. Heading the card is the $250,000-est. Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1), the $100,000-est. ARC Distaff Challenge Championship (G1), the $100,000-est. Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1) and the $150,000-est. Adequan Derby Challenge Championship.

What a night of Quarter Horse action.

There’s more. The future looks fruitful for the owners of prospects nominated to the Challenge program or will be nominated to the Challenge program.

“Now more than ever, breeders can nominate their horses with confidence in the AQHA Challenge Program,” AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber said. “We are poised for a bright future.

“A fully funded event is already on tap for the 2020 season, and we have already been approached for 2021,” she added. “The Challenge program remains the best value when investing in your racehorse’s future … there is a race offered for every season of a horse’s career.”

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