Ed Burgart's Picks for Regional Challenge Races

Ed Burgart's Picks for Regional Challenge Races

Ed's picks for two races on September 22 and two races on September 24.

Dark gray horse running on a racetrack.

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By Ed Burgart

KVN Queen, a much-troubled third in a qualifying trial at Horseshoe Indianapolis, is this writer's choice to capture Thursday's John Deere Horseshoe Indianapolis Juvenile Challenge.

Horseshoe Indianapolis, the home of the 2022 Bank of America Challenge Championships on October 22, also features the regional Q-Racing Video Distaff finals and the regional Adequan Derby finals today. On Saturday at the Eastern Idaho Fair, regional finals for the Q-Racing Video Distaff Championship and for the John Deere Juvenile Championship take place.

John Deere Horseshoe Indianapolis Juvenile Challenge
Despite running into a 10-mph head wind, Time For A Hero has the fastest 350-yard qualifying time of :17.88. But it is difficult for me to overlook KVN Queen, who finished ½-length behind Time For A Hero after a rugged trip in the first trial.

After getting bumped out at the start from her outside post, KVN Queen lugged out severely and wound up near the outside fence during the final 1/16. Yet, the filly only finished .08 behind Time For A Hero. KVN Queen has Horseshoe Indianapolis' leading jockey-trainer team of J. D. Marquez and Randy Smith. Marquez has won with 36 of 135 mounts and Smith has saddled 54 winners from 290 starters. KVN Queen starts from the outside 10 post position Thursday and can't afford to swerve outward again.

Time For a Hero, Extermynator and The Appollitical Lady appear to be the top contenders. Time For a Hero broke on top and maintained the lead throughout when scoring a neck trial victory. The improving Apollitical Blood gelding seeks his third straight win.
Extermynator has won three of four starts and captured the Heartland Futurity at Horseshoe Indianapolis two outs ago. He scored a nose trial win in :17.93 while racing with no wind, but was lucky to have defeated The Apollitical Lady, who shifted out badly from her outside post in a nose trial setback.

My choices in order are KVN Queen, Time For A Hero, Extermynator and The Apollitical Lady.    

Q-Racing Video Horseshoe Indianapolis Distaff Challenge

Paradyce, an improving 3-year-old filly who lacks the seasoning of accomplished 4-year-old fillies Jess Gimme A Kiss and Jess Over Yonder, gets my nod to win this 400-yard dash.
In her last 1-length allowance victory in a non-winners-of-three lifetime condition, Paradyce broke sharp, lugged inward to the 1/16-pole and displayed a smooth stride in a 440-yard win that was accomplished in :21.93. In her prior fourth-place finish from the rail post, Paradyce wound up running near the inner rail during the final 1/16 after veering in solidly away from the gate. She has won three of her last five outs and makes her ninth lifetime start Thursday.

Jess Gimme A Kiss and Jess Over Yonder have been competing versus stakes company in recent starts and are the ones to fear.

Jess Gimme A Kiss didn't have a clean trip when fifth in the Horseshoe Indianapolis Classic Stakes one month ago. After dropping further behind after getting bumped leaving the gate, Jess Gimme A Kiss finished with good interest and galloped out strongly.

Jess Over Yonder was eighth in the Horseshoe Indianapolis Classic Stakes when backing up during the final 1/16. She has disappointed in three starts this year but was a four-time Indiana winner last year.

My choices in order are Paradyce, Jess Gimme A Kiss and Jess Over Yonder.

Adequan Horseshoe Indianapolis Derby Challenge

Prize Kiss holds a huge class edge in this 400-yard event and is the most likely winner of the three regional qualifying races at Horseshoe Indianapolis. In his last allowance 6th-place finish from the rail post over a very sloppy surface, Prize Kiss veered inward early after getting bumped and ran close to the inner rail while trying hard late in a better-than-looked outing. He has three wins and three seconds from 10 Horseshoe Indianapolis starts and captured last year's regional John Deere Juvenile Challenge.

Improving A Seperatist V is my choice to finish second behind Prize Kiss. The Separatist colt has shown improvement in his last three outs and was fourth two races ago versus WRS Buster Brown, who since ran third versus Paradyce, a filly entered that I pick to win the aforementioned Q-Racing Video Distaff regional finals.

John Deere Pocatello Juvenile Challenge

Although he only has the fourth fastest qualifying time, One Famous Rock is my choice to capture the 350-yard John Deere Juvenile Regional Finals at Pocatello Downs on Saturday.

One Famous Rock finished second behind second-fastest qualifier RLH Fouronthefloor in the first of three trials at Blackfoot, Idaho. But One Famous Rock broke from the outside five post position on a day when seven of the 10 qualifiers came from the inside three posts. One Famous Rock comes from a high-percentage barn of trainer Mark Hanson, who has addled 28 winners from 96 starters in 2022.

RLH Fouronthefloor, Normandy and BC Fast Dash are the ones to fear. Normandy posted the fastest qualifying time of :17.74 with a nose win from post two over BC Fast Dash, who had the rail draw. 

Q-Racing Video Pocatello Distaff Challenge

Coming off a troubled sixth-place finish in the Gary Waite Maiden Stakes finals in Wyoming, Papas Eyes looms dangerous in the 400-yard Q-Racing Video Pocatello Distaff Challenge.

Sixth in his last outing after hopping in the air at the start, Papas Eyes looked terrific in three prior victories. Two outs ago, she scored a 1/2-length win over Five Bar Rockstar, who recently captured the Idaho Cup Derby.

Horses to fear are RTM Good Enough and Katie Perry. They are the only entrants who have won at 400 yards. RTM Good Enough captured the Idaho Cup Maturity in her last out, while Katie Perry won the Bitterroot Derby two races ago.