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Challenge Championships Undercard Recap

A review of the five undercard stakes before the six major Bank of America Challenge Championships stakes.

Q-Racing Journal
October 18, 2014

The Bank of America Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows on Saturday night kicked off with five stakes races—two stakes for Iowa-breds, one open derby and two undercard stakes for Challenge-enrolled horses—followed by the six Challenge Championships races with total purses of nearly $1 million. Following is a recap of those five undercard stakes:

$20,000 John Deere Stakes
Three-year-olds took to the track to lead off the card in the $20,000 John Deere Stakes, and Richard Tobin’s Jess Glory scored by a half-length under jockey David Pinon. Bred by Johnny Trotter and trained by Alex Wessels, the Oklahoma-bred gelding by Mr Jess Perry dashed 400 yards in :19.742 for his first stakes victory. This win improved his record to 13-4-4-1 with earnings of $49,314.

Jim Walker’s homebred Time For Jesse Lee, trained by Monty Arrossa, hit the board for the 18th time in 21 starts with a second-place finish. Jesstastic, a 29-1 longshot running for owner Charlton Hunt and trainer Charley Hunt, closed to take third.

$105,550 Altoona Derby
In the $105,550 Altoona Derby, Michael Pohl’s homebred This Wagons Okay held on for a nose victory as the 1-2 favorite. Piloted by Jorge Torres and conditioned by Randy Hill, the Oklahoma-bred PYC Paint Your Wagon gelding just prevailed over Heza Fast Invictus with a 400-yard clocking in :19.550. This Wagons Okay put up the fastest qualifying time in the trials, and this latest victory improved his bankroll to $64,021 with a record of 9-3-3-0.

Marty and Shalia Powers’ Heza Fast Invictus, who came in with seven wins in 10 starts, just missed the victory for trainer Kasey Willis. Love Me Madly, owned by Paula Hall and trained by Randy Hill, closed fast for third.

$67,200 Future of Iowa Stakes
Catchin Fire, the 3-10 favorite in the Future of Iowa Stakes (R) for state-bred fillies and mares, dominated from start to finish as she crossed the wire 3 ½ lengths in front with a 350-yard sprint in :17.489. Cesar Gomez rode the 4-year-old daughter of Chicks A Blazin, who was bred by Jim Harvey and runs for owner Thomas Lepic and trainer Kasey Willis. This marked the second career stakes win and sixth overall win for Catchin Fire, who has banked $148,522 with a record of 18-6-4-3.

Charles Decher’s homebred DC Darn That Cat, a Brian Muse trainee who just broke her maiden last month, finished second, and Ms Carter Cash, a Carters Cartel filly running for breeder Craig Kirby and trainer Alex Wessels, got third.

$20,000 Markel Stakes
In the $20,000 Markel Stakes for 2-year-olds, 9-5 favorite U C Me Streakin closed strongly on the outside to get up by three-quarters of a length under jockey David Pinon. Breaking from post 10, the filly by Tac It Like A Man dashed 350 yards in :17.451. Patrick Swan trans the Texas-bred for owner C.A. Cofer. Bred by Dan and Erin Knox, U C Me Streakin has now won three of four career starts with a second-place finish in her lone defeat. She has banked $27,828.

Mr El R 15, a Jess Louisiana Blue gelding bred, owned and trained by Miguel Banuelos, had an early lead and held on for second. Longshot Classy In Red, trained by Jason Olmstead and owned by Leo Butell and Mike Schau, closed well for third.

$153,000 Jim Bader Futurity
Trainer Kasey Willis and breeder/owner Williams Racing Stables Inc. swept the exacta in the $153,000 Jim Bader Futurity (R) for Iowa-breds as WRS Secret Dream defeated WRS Quick Regards by a half-length. The entry was sent to post as the 3-5 favorite. Cesar Gomez rode WRS Secret Dream, a gelding by No Secrets Here, to a 350-yard clocking in :17.484. WRS Secret Dream had won three trial races prior to this victory, which was his first against stakes company. This win was worth $61,200 and improved his earnings to $84,557 with a record of 7-4-0-1.

WRS Quick Regards, a gelding by Chicks Regard, boosted his earnings to $86,170 with the second-place finish. Bettor Times, a Sweet First Down gelding bred, trained and owned by Wayne Garner, finished third.

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