Juvenile Talent

An early look at the John Deere Juvenile Challenge contenders.

Q-Racing Journal

Pappas In The House winning the John Deere Les Bois Juvenile Challenge. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

Past runnings of the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship have showcased young stars, and this year’s Grade 2, $150,000 edition will hopefully provide a full gate of such talented youngsters.

Here is a look at the potential starters in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship, in order of their qualifying race.

Seis Me (second in John Deere Turf Paradise Juvenile Challenge, April 26): A game second in this early regional race, Jacob Simmons and Robin Acromite of Windsor, Colorado, look for big things from this very well bred filly. The daughter of champions Tres Seis and Cash For Kas, Seis Me has been first or second three times in eight starts. Her most recent was a seventh-place finish in the $297,831 Hobbs America Futurity (G2).

Undivided Atemption (Won John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge, May 16): Quency Grant’s Tempting Dash colt dominated the John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge (G3), drawing away from a field that included fellow finalist BOS Big Shamoon. Undivided Atemption has won three of four starts, with his most recent effort being a fifth-place run in Ferarri GT’s trial to the Dash For Cash Futurity (G1). Ferrari GT would run second in that race, and has qualified to the Texas Classic Futurity (G1).

Panther Hero (Won John Deere Ajax Juvenile Challenge, July 12): The Ontario-bred Valiant Hero gelding would be making his first start outside of Ajax Downs, a track on which he has won three of five starts, with an additional second-place finish. He won the $95,736 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity on October 5 for owner John Wilson of New Liskeard, Ontario.

Queen Catherine (Won John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge, August 1): Perpetually one of the most challenging of the Juvenile Challenge regional races, Queen Catherine won the Ruidoso edition over a muddy track over JS Abel Dasher, who went on to contest the Dash For Cash Futurity (G1) a few weeks ago. The filly owned by Hay Racing of Seminole, Oklahoma, most recently finished an atypical sixth in BOS Big Shamoon’s John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge on October 11.

Pappas In The House (Won John Deere Les Bois Juvenile Challenge, August 8): This Pappasito gelding is owned by a partnership of Hanson Racing LLC and Rob Evans, and is 5-for-7 this year with the group’s highest earnings at $100,444. He won the John Deere at Les Bois after taking the Bitterroot Futurity. Most recently he was fifth in Nucky’s Dash For Cash Futurity trial at Lone Star after losing his footing at the start. He posted a 220 yard work on October 17, with an :11.06 time.

Careless Lightning (Won John Deere Retama Juvenile Challenge, August 8): Riding a three-win streak, Careless Lightning comes into this race having won the TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity (RG3) as well as the John Deere Retama for owner Jesse Gibson of San Antonio. He is 3-for-5 so far this year, and on October 21 recorded a :11.61 prep work at Lone Star over 220 yards.

Brabus (Won John Deere Hipodromo Juvenile Challenge, August 16): The most inexperienced runner in the field, with only two starts, Hernando Gonzalez Guerra’s Brabus made them count as he won the John Deere Hipodromo Juvenile Challenge after a disqualification. On October 14, the Texas-bred son of Ivory James worked 220 yards at Evangeline Downs in :12.97.

Luv On The Run (Won John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge, August 22): Luv On The Run’s daddy, Favorite Cartel, knew how to win big on Challenge Championship night, taking the Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) in 2011. The young colt’s owner, Jesus Nava of Santa Ana, California, hopes his horse will follow in the footsteps. He has to date won 5-of-8 starts, including his deadheat win of the John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge. He made his most recent start, a fourth-place effort, on October 18 in the Golden State Million Futurity (G1) trials.

For Sweet Jess (Won John Deere Evergreen Juvenile Challenge, August 23): Ruben Magallanes’ gelding For Sweet Jess was up in time to win the John Deere Evergreen Juvenile Challenge and qualify to the big final in his most recent start. He has only once been worse than third in seven career starts, which include a game third-place finish in the Pot O’ Gold Futurity.

Gone All In (Won John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge, September 12): The game Gone All In was a dominant winner in the John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge, a race which last year produced the eventual winner, AJs High. She has been first or second in all seven career starts, including a nose loss in the $141,100 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity. Her most recent start was October 24 at Lone Star, when she was second in her non-qualifying trial to the Texas Classic Futurity (G1).

BOS Big Shamoon (Won John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge, October 11): Snatching up the final qualifying ticket was BOS Big Shamoon, who nosed out the victory in the October 11 John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge for owners Jeff Caron and Paul Quintanilla of Tilden, Texas. The gelding defeated Queen Catherine in the race, but in turn was defeated by Undivided Atemption in the John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge.

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