Older Stars Meet in Challenge Championship

Llano Teller, Ethics Aside rematch in Bank of America Challenge Championship.

Q-Racing Journal
October 23, 2012

When $1,687,347 earner Llano Teller starts in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1), he will have a score to settle with $147,136 earner Ethics Aside.

The 440-yard Bank of America Challenge Championship is the headlining race at the Bank of America Challenge Championships on Saturday night at Prairie Meadows. More than $1 million will be awarded during the six Bank of America Challenge Championship races.

Llano Teller and Ethics Aside have a history, although recent and brief. In the $73,000 Bank of America Prairie Meadows Challenge on September 15, Ethics Aside was completely overlooked at nearly 20-1 odds while Llano Teller, with his sterling resume, was bet down to 3-10 favoritism.

Guess who won? You got it: Ethics Aside.

The Jorge Gonzalez-owned and -trained Ethics Aside (Mr Jess Perry-Daring Difference by Victory Dash) had been successful, but those triumphs came in ungraded stakes generally east of the Mississippi River. The well-bred winner of seven races from 28 starts has won back-to-back races twice during his career, including his latest two efforts, but has never won three in a row.

At Hoosier Park in August, Ethics Asie won the $84,000 Bradford Stakes by a neck while setting a 400-yard track record of :19.73. He then went to Prairie Meadows and scored his big upset over Llano Teller when he won by a half length.

Llano Teller (Teller Cartel-Annie Eye Opener by Mr Eye Opener) has found his million-dollar-plus success racing against the best of his generation and has won or placed in six Grade 1 races. The gelded son of Teller Cartel has competed in 11 Grade 1 races and two Grade 2 stakes. Each of his starts since his first out in a maiden race back in March 2010 have been in stakes races or the trial to a stakes.

Owned by Terry Wootan’s Wootan Racing of Llano, Texas, in partnership Reed Land and Cattle Company, Llano Teller has been on the board in each of his four starts this year. He earned his berth in the Bank of America Challenge Championship when he won the May 6 Bank of America Remington Championship Challenge (G2) by a length over Mr Truly Uno as the 2-5 favorite.

In Grade 1 races at 2, Llano Teller won the Remington Park Futurity, placed a close third in the Heritage Place Futurity, was fourth in the Texas Classic Futurity and ran in the Rainbow Futurity. Then, at 3, he won the Ruidoso Derby (G1) and the All American Derby (G1), both at Ruidoso Downs.

Lorena Rodriguez’s Rylees Boy (Heza Motor Scooter-Pipistrelle by Rocky Jones) is a veteran who is always dangerous – especially at 440 yards – and is looking for his 20th career victory. The earner of $785,166 has won 11 of 16 starts over a quarter mile, including the Bank of America Sunland Championship Challenge (G2) the last three years. In April, he won the race by1 3/4 lengths as the 2-5 favorite in a very fast :21.072 time. Back in 2011, the gelding turned in an incredible :20.423 while winning by a length.

In his latest start and his first start for champion trainer Paul Jones, Rylees Boy had no chance in the September 23 Go Man Go Handicap (G1) at Los Alamitos after being knocked around at the start and then steadied.

The California- and New Mexico-based Jones will also send out the Brazilian speedster Dash Glory Ease (Holland Ease-Medvedev (TB) by Minstrel Glory). The 4-year-old stallion has only made two official starts and won the Bank of America South America Championship Challenge by a neck on February 11 at The Jockey Club of Sorocaba near Sao Paulo.

Jorge Haddad’s homebred Giorgino (Apollo (TB)-Las Alamitos by First Down Dash) won three stakes as a juvenile and is still a dangerous stakes horse as a 4-year-old. The stallion has made three starts this fall at Prairie Meadows, with a second in the October 6 Prairie Meadows Bonus Challenge and a third in the August 18 Keokuk Stakes (G3).

Official entries for the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) will be taken and post positions will be drawn on Wednesday for the October 27 race.