Champion Hold Air Hostage Headlines Bank of America California Challenge

The 4-year-old gelding will make his Los Alamitos debut on Saturday.

Q-Racing Journal

Darling Farms' Hold Air Hostage, pictured here winning last year's Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs, heads a field of eight in Saturday's Bank of America California Challenge at Los Alamitos. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Darling Farms' Hold Air Hostage, last year's champion 3-year-old, is one of eight aged runners entered in Saturday's 440-yard, $49,680 Bank of America California Challenge Stakes at Los Alamitos.

A 4-year-old Apollitical Jess gelding trained by Jaime Gomez, Hold Air Hostage will be making his debut at Los Alamitos off of a second-place finish, one length behind two-time reigning world champion Jessies First Down, in the June 2, 440-yard Remington Park Invitational Championship. Hold Air Hostage has won nine of 13 starts and has earned $1,325,617.

"He's a really smart horse and really easy to train and get along with," said Gomez. "He's acclimiated nicely to Los Alamitos."

Hold Air Hostage has been made the early 8-5 favorite by track morning-line maker Ed Burgart. The gelding drew post 2 and will be ridden by Jose Nicasio.

BH Lisas Boy, a homebred 6-year-old Mighty Invictus gelding owned and trained by Bill Hoburg, drew the rail post and will be ridden by Jesus Ayala. BH Lisas Boy is coming off of a second-place finish, a nose behind winner Zoomin For Spuds, in the 400-yard, $170,000 Vessels Maturity (G1) on July 8.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
BH Lisas Boy (Jesus Ayala), 2-1
Hold Air Hostage (Jose Nicasio), 8-5
Joe Legacy (Carlos Huerta), 30-1
Katies Easy Moves (Eduardo Nicaso), 6-1
Arizona Icon (Erasmo Gasca), 12-1
The Charm Of Corona (Cesar Franco), 15-1
Flash N Bling (Cruz Mendez), 12-1
Kissed By An Eagle (Ramon Sanchez), 4-1

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