Three runners earn Challenge Championship Berths at Will Rogers Downs

First Rate Return, Country Mans Jazz, and Admiral Zoomwalt scored on Sunday.

Q-Racing Journal

Terry McLean's Admiral Zoomwalt wins Sunday's AQHA Will Rogers Distance Challenge. PHOTO: Coady Photography

First Rate Return was a prompt favorite in Sunday's $50,310 John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge Stakes at Will Rogers Downs.

Ridden by Agustin Silva and sent to post as the 13-10 choice in the field of nine 2-year-olds, First Rate Return covered 350 yards in :17.539 and recorded a 95 speed index. Gerry McLean prepped the sorrel First Rate Of Return gelding for owner Terry McLean of Claremore, Oklahoma.

First Rate Return earned a berth in the October 29, $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos. The gelding was bred in Oklahoma by Connie Nobles, and he set the fastest qualifying time with a nose victory in the third of four trials on September 25.

All told, First Rate Return has won three of five starts and has banked $70,040 while being campaigned exclusively in Oklahoma. He was a finalist in the June 4, $1,083,420 Heritage Place Futurity (G1) at Remington Park.

Hope Hes The One ran second, one length behind First Rate Return, and was followed by Jc Wild Rose, Juno Cartel, Perfect Burn, Fire Redlipstick, Histori, Eureka, and Matts Corona. Third-fastest qualifier Taurus was scratched.

Adequan Will Rogers Derby Challenge
Agustin Silva rode fastest qualifier and odds-on favorite Country Mans Jazz to a three-quarter length victory in Sunday's 400-yard, $47,790 Adequan Will Rogers Derby Challenge.

Saddled by R.L. "Rick" Robinson for owner Sarah Huskey, Country Mans Jazz made his trip in :19.667 while earning a 97 speed index, the $21,983 winner's share of the purse, and a starting spot in the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) at Los Alamitos on October 29.

Country Mans Jazz was bred in Texas by his owner. His sire, Bono Jazz, is a multiple graded stakes winning son of Jazzing Hi.

Country Mans Jazz has won four of seven starts and has banked $49,023, of which $40,989 has been earned from five outs this season. The gelding returned a $2.40 win mutuel as the 1-5 choice in the full field of 10 sophomores.

Corona Suerte, a 28-1 longshot, finished second to complete a $28 ($2) exacta. Keyper, Flyer Power, My Runaway Cartel, Scouts Pyc Special, Big John Hunt, Sr Rumrunner, Valiant B Doll, and Volcoms Dash completed the order of finish.

AQHA Will Rogers Distance Challenge
Terry McLean's Admiral Zoomwalt earned a berth in the October 29 AQHA Distance Challenge Championship (G1) with a half-length win in the $35,730 AQHA Will Rogers Distance Challenge on Sunday.

Trained by Gerry McLean, who gave a leg up to jockey James Flores, Admral Zoomwalt covered 870 yards in :45.364. The 4-year-old sorrel son of Shazoom banked $17,865 to push his earnings to $104,278 from 24 starts.

Admiral Zoomwalt was making his first start since July 29, when the gelding defeated a field of state-breds in the 870-yard Walter Merrick Memorial Stakes (R) at Fair Meadows at Tulsa. He was bred in Oklahoma by Mike Nobles and Chrstine Hudson, and his eight career victories include two stakes scores.

Juno Dat Timber ran second and was followed by Apollitical Courage, Ncc Anchorman, Katcandoux, and Eye Am A Dealer.

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 www.aqharacing.com.