angle-left Q-Racing Blog: Determined to Challenge

Q-Racing Blog: Determined to Challenge

Determined Cowboy shows promise in the Challenge program.
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By Ty Wyant

The Armando Castellano-owned and -trained Determined Cowboy became a prospect to watch when he made his debut in the first of two trials to the $40,205 John Deere Turf Paradise Juvenile Challenge on April 7.

The finals will be contested on April 28.

Determined Cowboy raced from the seventh and outside post position in the first of two trials and, for the first half of the 350-yard race, appeared to have little, if any chance, for the win. He broke in at the start, but not a bad start for a first-time starter, especially since he was on the outside and did not bear out.

“He really didn’t have a poor start,” Castellano said. “He stayed quiet in the gate. I really wanted to be in the middle or the inside.”

That start gave the gelding the opportunity to showcase his talent.

Under jockey Martin Osuna, Determined Cowboy was more than a length behind the frontrunners. He then went to work. In the final 100 yards, he was running at leader Dynasty Dinamo, and Determined Cowboy accelerated across the finish line to an expanding neck win.

Determined Cowboy was clocked in :18.396 while facing a 7 mile-per-hour headwind for the top qualifying time, while Dynasty Dinamo was timed in :18.446, the third-fastest mark.

A son of Hes Relentless, Determined Cowboy has been a pleasure since he was purchased privately for $13,000 last fall from breeders Jon Mixer and Dan Ward.

“He’s been easy to work with,” Castellano said. “We gelded him, but he was always calm. He never tried to buck or anything and he is always happy.

We’re really happy with him and love him. You can go into his stall when he’s laying down and he doesn’t even get up.”

Determined Cowboy should be ready to go for the finals.

“He came back really well. In the receiving barn, he acted like he wasn’t tired,” Castellano said.

The long-term goal for Determined Cowboy is the $125,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) on October 26 at The Downs at Albuquerque. A win in the Turf Paradise Juvenile Challenge would earn a berth in the rich final.

Bobby Simmon’s homebred Fashioneesta won the other trial with the second-fastest time of :18.424. She also started from the outside seventh post position. The filly broke well for jockey Rick Oliver and raced with the leaders. The daughter of Bodacious Dash put away her rivals to win by three-quarters of a length.

The Joe “Bear” Bassett trained filly was timed in :18.424 while making her first start.

The trip for 2-year-olds to the Challenge Championships began at Phoenix and will make nine more stops before reaching Albuquerque.

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