Challenge: Storm Warnings

Careless Lightning will try to strike again in the Juvenile Challenge.

Q-Racing Journal

Careless Lightning's blaze resembles a lightning bolt. PHOTO: Q-Racing Journal/Andrea Caudill

It is stormy weather this week in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, and there is definitely a potential storm on the horizon for Saturday night. Careless Lightning is riding a three-win race streak coming into the $151,500 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2), and he could be ready to strike on the Lone Star surface.

The compact gray gelding comes out of the Leon Bard barn looking for his third stakes win in his sixth career start. After finding his footing in his first two races, he struck first in the $100,000 TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity (RG3). That was followed by a win in his John Deere Retama Juvenile trial, and then dominated the $83,520, 350-yard final by 1 1/4 lengths. 

The charcoal gray gelding, who has a jagged blaze down his face that resembles a lightning bolt, has rested since that August 8 win and comes into the race freshened.

“He was in the Dash For Cash (Futurity, G1) trials, and he had just a slight respiratory (infection),” said Bard. “We decided to save him for this and not run him (in those trials).

“But he’s done good, done everything right,” Bard added. “He knows how to win. They’ve got him to beat.”

Owned by Jesse Gibson of San Antonio, Texas, Careless Lightning has career earnings of $81,219. 

Careless Lightning was bred by this year’s Challenge leading breeder, Bobby Cox of Fort Worth. 

The gelding is from the first crop by champion American Runaway, who earned $686,355 during his racing career, but who passed away at the age of 5. Careless Lightning is one of only 10 starters by the stallion to date, a group that also includes graded stakes qualifier An Agitator. Careless Lightning is out of the Corona Cartel mare Corona Edge, she being a half-sister to top runner and major producer Fearless Freda, as well as champion and producer Deelish. 

“This is a very nice horse,” Bard said of Careless Lightning. “He’s as good as they come. He doesn’t get into trouble, does everything right.” 

The Bank of America Challenge Championships are November 7 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Stay tuned to complete coverage from the Q-Racing Journal at

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit