Mals First Down, Toughie Land Challenge Championship Berths

A recap of regional Challenge action from Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Q-Racing Journal

Mals First Down and Toughie earned 2017 Bank of America Challenge Championship berths on Saturday.

A sharp break from post 5 helped Mals First Down earn a wire-to-wire victory in Saturday's $27,901 Bank of America Grande Prairie Championship Challenge at Evergreen Park.

Ridden by Scott Sterr, Mals First Down covered 440 yards in :21.825 while defeating Honor The Aztec by a neck. William Leech prepped the 6-year-old Shazoom gelding for owners Charlie Weaselhead and Jim Plume.

Mals First Down was bred in Oklahoma by Bill Robbins. In addition to earning the $13,950 winner's share of the purse, the gelding landed a berth in the October 14, $330,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at Prairie Meadows.

Mals First Down has won 10 of 31 starts and has banked $70,496.

Cruisinfourabruisin finished third and was followed by Go Jessin Beaver, Er Cafe, and Living Is Sweet.

Merial Grande Prairie Distaff Challenge
Charles G. Stojan's Toughie earned another Challenge Championship berth, as the 4-year-old daughter of Stel Corona dominated her competition in Saturday's $17,462 Merial Grande Prairie Distaff Challenge.

Ridden by Freddy Fuentes for trainer William Leech, Stojan went 400 yards in :19.715, and her winning margin was 1 1/4 lengths from Splashy Mamacita. The mare earned $9,080 and a starting spot in the October 14, $105,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) at Prairie Meadows.

Toughie was bred in California by Dr. Edward Allred and was acquired as a yearling by Stojan for $20,000 at the 2014 Los Alamitos Equine Sale. The mare has banked $152,976 from 15 starts, and her resume includes a third-place finish, a half of a length behind winner Jess Good Reason, in last year's 400-yard, $202,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) at Los Alamitos.

Toughie's 11 wins include four stakes scores.

Northfork Sizzle, First Prize Sass, and Quad Seis completed the order of finish.

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