Two Challenge Championship Berths on the Line at Retama

The regional John Deere Juvenile and Adequan Derby qualifiers will be determined on Saturday.

Two regional Challenge Championship berths will be decided at Retama Park this weekend.

Ivory Noche, a homebred son of Ivory James and the fastest qualifier, is one of 10 2-year-olds entered back in Saturday’s 350-yard, $69,750 John Deere Retama Juvenile Challenge Stakes at Retama Park.

Trained by G. Sue Hunt for owner K & W Land and Cattle Co., Ivory Noche is coming off of a three-quarter length victory as the 11-10 favorite in the second of six trials on July 29. The bay gelding has won three of five starts and has earned $13,271.

Ivory Noche drew post 5 and will be ridden by Juan F. Garcia Jr.

Other contenders include David L. Martinez’s Jess Adalida, a California-bred filly by champion Jess Louisiana Blue trained by Antonio Delgado Sr. Jess Adalida has banked $15,426 from five outs in Texas and New Mexico, and her resume includes a second-place finish, a neck behind winner Eagles Soar, in the 300-yard, $50,000 West Texas Juvenile Stakes at Sunland Park on April 15.

Jess Adalida drew post 3 and will be ridden by Luciano Duenez.

The winner of this race will earn a berth in the October 14, $130,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Prairie Meadows. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments.
Shimmy Dasher (Noe Villatoro)
Mystical Jess (Damian Martinez)
Jess Adalida (Luciano Duenez)
Rock On Zoomer (Juan L. Vazquez)
Ivory Noche (Juan F. Garcia Jr.)
Tres Generales Ftl (Francisco Calderon)
The Lady Is Dealin (Nestor Duran)
Roses Dancer (Esgar Ramirez)
The Cartel Warrior (Jose Vega)
Tempting Mary (Juan S. Linares)

Adequan Retama Derby Challenge
One Sweet Merlot, a gelded son of One Sweet Jess trained by Trey Ellis for owners David Jones and Mark C. Cowan, drew post 5 for Saturday’s 400-yard, $57,960 Adequan Retama Derby Challenge Stakes.

One Sweet Merlot has banked $26,724 from three starts this season, and his resume includes a third-place finish in the 350-yard, $198,000 Sam Houston Derby (G3) at Sam Houston Race Park on April 29. The sorrel gelding will be ridden by Noe Villatoro.

The winner of this race will earn a spot in the $180,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) at Prairie Meadows on October 14. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments:
Trashy Tres (Juan L. Vazquez)
Jayronimo (Juan F. Garcia Jr.)
Deala Quick Game (Francisco Calderon)
Eagle Cry (Jesse Levario)
One Sweet Merlot (Noe Villatoro)
Jess Kicked A Gear (Gilbert Ortiz)
Queen Dinasty (Luciano Duenez)
Walk Off (Jose A. Alvarez)
Apollitical Girl (Eddie Sanchez)
Desdemona Rambler (Jose Vega)

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