Turf Paradise Challenge Recap

Final three Bank of America Challenge Championships berth awarded at Arizona track.

October 14, 2012

The final three tickets for the October 27 Bank of America Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows were punched on Sunday at Turf Paradise as the Arizona track held a trio of regional races highlighted by a dominant performance by Patriots Glory in the Bank of America Turf Paradise Championship Challenge (G3).

Richard and Genevieve Herrman’s homebred Patriots Glory, a 5-year-old Colorado-bred gelding by Game Patriot, jumped out to an early lead in the 440-yard stakes and extended his advantage to 1 ½ lengths at the wire. Elliot Bachicha Jr. rode for trainer Hipolito Michel-Valverde and stopped the timer at :21.320.

This victory earned Patriots Glory a second trip to the Bank of America Challenge Championships; in 2010 he won the Adequan Arapahoe Derby Challenge and then finished third in the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G1) at Fair Grounds. The gelding now sports a record of 26-10-8-1 with a bankroll in excess of $160,000. His four other stakes wins all came at Arapahoe Park near Denver.

Felix Gonzalez’s Pot Ocash, a recent stakes winner at Los Alamitos, crossed the wire second with What I Want in third for owner Victor Ramos.

In the Red Cell Turf Paradise Distance Challenge, veteran distance specialist Prince Bac rolled to an easy 5 ½-length victory under jockey Jorge Bourdieu with an 870-yard clocking of :46.065 as the 1-10 favorite. Bred in Arizona by the Duane Ellsworth Estate and owned and trained Gerardo Ochoa-Pena, the 8-year-old gelding by Splash Bac earned his third consecutive victory after taking a claiming race at SunRay Park and the Special Hank Handicap at The Downs at Albuquerque. All told, Prince Bac has won eight of 43 starts with earnings of more than $70,000. This victory also earned him a berth in the $125,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1).

Mister Michael, a shipper from Los Alamitos making his first start around the turn for owner and trainer Dean Frey, finished a clear second with Gully Enterprises Inc.’s Nofearoffailure in third.

In the John Deere Turf Paradise Juvenile Challenge, Jess Like Stoli, who broke his maiden in the trials with the fastest qualifying time, prevailed by a nose with Jorge Bourdieu in the saddle for trainer and owner Cynthia Gonzalez. Jess Like Stoli covered 350 yards in :17.919 to earn a berth in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2).

Jess Like Stoli, a son of Stoli bred in Louisiana by Triple M Farms LLC, began his career at SunRay Park, where he finished second against maidens and then second again in a Four Corners Futurity (G3) trial before taking third in the $129,100 final.

Alejando Uriel Martinez’s Dashaway Eagle, a One Famous Eagle filly who won the AQRA President’s Spring Futurity at Turf Paradise, put in a game effort to take second. Black Storm Regard finished third for owner and trainer Armando Castellanos.