Stimulus Draws Post 10 for Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship

The Grade 1 winner will make his second start in 15 months Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park.

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Brian and Dana Stroud's JRC Callas First, pictured here winning last year's Zia Park Championship, is one of the contenders in Saturday's Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship at Sam Houston Race Park. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Jose F. Hernandez’s Stimulus, a 6-year-old Mr Jess Perry gelding trained by Bobby Martinez, drew the outside post for the 440-yard, $112,230 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship (G2) at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday.

The winner of this race will earn a starting berth in the 440-yard, $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse on October 29.

Stimulus came off of a 15-month layoff to run second, 1 1/2 lengths behind fastest qualifier Jessies First Down, in the second of three trials on March 25. In 2014, the gray gelding scored a wire-to-wire, two-length victory in the Bank of America Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows.

Manuel Gutierrez has been named to ride Stimulus on Saturday.

Jessies First Down is a homebred 5-year-old son of champion FDD Dynasty trained by Judd Kearl for owner Ted G. Abrams Sr. The gelding has won three of his last four outs, including the 440-yard, $30,000 Miami-Dade County Stakes at Hialeah Park on February 28.

Jessies First Down drew post 7 and will be ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo.

Brian and Dana Stroud’s JRC Callas First, the 2014 world champion, drew the rail post and will be ridden by Jerry Lee Yoakum. The 6-year-old Winners Award gelding won four stakes last season, including the Grade 1, 440-yard Zia Park Championship at Zia Park in New Mexico.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments:
JRC Callas First (Jerry Lee Yoakum)
Eyes Your Date (Gilbert Ortiz)
RC Me Leaving You (Noe Villatoro)
Ojo de Rey (Francisco Ramirez Jr.)
Exquisite Stride (Joe Badilla Jr.)
Poker Chip 831 (Omar Reyes)
Jessies First Down (Rodrigo Vallejo)
Ipolito (Luis Vivanco)
J Bar (Francisco Calderon)
Stimulus (Manuel Gutierrez)

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