Q-Racing Blog: March 8

Q-Racing Blog: Early spring updates on the Bank of America Racing Challenge.

By Darrell Hare
March 8, 2012

Darrell Hare

AQHA Director of Racing Challenge Darrell Hare

Welcome to the new Q-Racing Blog, which will feature regular posts from AQHA racing staff, including AQHA Executive Director of Racing Trey Buck and Director of the Racing Challenge Darrell Hare, as well as industry leaders.

Check back on www.aqharacing.com to see these blogs, which will discuss topics of interest to racing and the Bank of America Racing Challenge.

Q-RACING BLOG: DARREL HARE, DIRECTOR OF RACING CHALLENGE
MARCH 8, 2012

This is an exciting time of year for the Bank of America Racing Challenge. We concluded a good year in 2011, and are looking to an even better year in 2012.

The Regional series has kicked off in South America, with Dash Glory Ease earning the first berth to the Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1). There will be a few significant changes from the 2011 regional schedule, including the John Deere Juvenile Challenge and Adequan Derby Challenge races at Retama Park near San Antonio; plus the John Deere Juvenile Challenge and Adequan Derby Challenge races at Ajax Downs near Toronto, Ontario. We are expecting a large number of nominations for the races at both of these tracks.

Presently, there are 25 Bonus Challenge races and 13 Maiden Challenge races scheduled for 2012, and we are expecting applications for several more races during the season.

As you have probably seen, the Racing Challenge Championships have a new host this year: Prairie Meadows on October 27 in Altoona, Iowa. The track near Des Moines will feature a brand-new hotel and is planning a number of exciting events. Prairie Meadows has a lot going for it and Iowa horsemen have a lot of enthusiasm. I hope you will join me there for the four-day AQHA Racing Conference and the Iowa Champions night on October 26.

At the time of this writing, I am headed to the AQHA Convention, March 9-12 in Las Vegas, and I look forward to seeing everyone. If you’re going, make sure to pick up this year’s condition book. If you won’t be there, it is available online. Additional copies are being sent to all race secretaries at tracks hosting Challenge races this year.

During the November Racing Council meeting, a subcommittee was appointed to work with staff to review and rewrite certain provisions of the 2012 Challenge Condition Book. Members are Debbie Schauf, Eric Johnston and Jerry Windham.

There were several minor revisions and changes in the wording; however the most significant changes are highlighted below:

Page 15, Para (3) Bank of America Racing Challenge Championship Preferences

CONDITIONS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP, DERBY, DISTAFF, DISTANCE, JUVENILE, AND STARTER ALLOWANCE DIVISION:

a) For the purpose of these preference rules, a horse is ineligible to enter a Racing Challenge Championship if, at time of entry for the Racing Challenge Championship Finals, the horse remains subject to any action that may result in loss of purse or disqualification in the Regional Challenge Final by the racing jurisdiction in which the Regional Challenge Final was conducted (e.g., positive drug test, appeal of stewards’ ruling, etc.).

The entire preference system for the Challenge Championships has been rewritten to more clearly define the objectives of the subcommittee, AQHA legal counsel and the AQHA Racing Council. The complete Challenge preference system is defined on pages 15-17 of the 2012 Challenge Condition Book.

There is one significant change pertaining to Regional Challenge time trials that should be pointed out. In the past, if it was obvious, after all sustaining and late payments had been made, that time trials were not required (less than a full gate), then entries for time trials were not required. This rule has been changed as follows:

Page 7, 6) Entry

Entries for all Racing Challenge races shall be made through the entry box in the usual manner at the host racing facility by the closing time for entries in that Racing Challenge race. “All horses are required to enter on scheduled trial entry date even if there are not sufficient eligible entries to run trials.”

This rule was changed to conform to certain racing jurisdictions (Oklahoma, Colorado, et al) that require entries for time trials regardless of the number of entries. This rule needs to be consistent for all jurisdictions to avoid confusion.

We intend to post notices and remind race secretaries of this rule change as needed.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, let me know when you see me at the track; email me at dhare@aqha.org or call the Racing Challenge hotline at (877) 222-7223.