Q-Racing Blog: Challenge Derby Musings

A field of tough derby horses is Lone Star bound.

Q-Racing Journal

A look at the Bank of America Derby Challenge contenders.

The $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) is guaranteed to have a deep competitive field with eight of the 10 qualifiers having won their latest start.

The Adequan Will Rogers Derby Challenge on October 11 will add another winner and increase the field to a potential 11 contestants. Of course, this could change up until entry time. The 400-yard Adequan Derby Challenge Championship will be held on November 7 at Lone Star Park as one of the main events during the Bank of America Challenge Championships.

The Adequan Derby Challenge Championship with a full field and so many horses in winning form makes for an excellent betting race. Last week we looked at the current Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) possibles. Here’s an early peek at the horses that have qualified for the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship in order of their qualifying race.

Jumpn Streak (Won Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge, May 16): Ovidio Sandoval’s Jumpn Streak scored his sole stakes win from 17 starts when he dominated the Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge by two lengths while drawing away from his competition. Trainer Josue Ponce has him ready for the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship after winning a conditioned 350-yard allowance race on October 4 at Lone Star.

BH Lisas Boy (Won Adequan Arapahoe Derby Challenge, June 6): The Bill Hoburg-owned, -bred and -trained BH Lisas Boy is an interesting prospect. He is also eligible to the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at 440 yards after winning the Bank of America Emerald Downs Challenge with a track record of :21.376 in his latest start. So, does he run against 3-year-olds in the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship, or take on older horses in the Bank of America Challenge Championship? The gelding qualified for the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship with a head win in the Adequan Arapahoe Derby Challenge. This gelding is about winning with eight wins and two seconds from 12 starts.

Great Grace (Won Adequan Ruidoso Downs Derby Challenge, June 27): Owned by George Mitchell, B. Herricks and L. Herricks, Great Grace has not started since her game neck win in the Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge back in June. However, the filly is at Lone Star Park and worked 220 yards on September 27. She has had success at Lone Star with a third in last year’s $371,227 Dash For Cash Futurity (G1) as the 2-1 favorite after winning her trial by daylight.

Sound Of Candy (Won Adequan Hipodromo de las Americas Derby Challenge, June 28): Enrique Carrion’s Sound Of Candy is one of those mystery horses from Mexico. Her official record shows that she has won her latest four races and her most recent race was the $15,680 Felix Banuelos Jimenez Derby on September 13. She tends to bear in, but is far enough ahead so there is no disqualification. She does not show any works on Equibase. She is from that respected Carl Pevehouse breeding program.

Seize The Win (Won Adequan Ajax Derby Challenge, July 12): Glenn Graff’s Seize The Win rides a three-race winning streak, including two stakes victories. He won his Adequan Ajax Derby Challenge to start his streak and he won the $80,000 Indiana Stallion Derby in his latest effort on September 12. This Matt Frazier-trained gelding boasts six wins (four stakes) and two seconds from 12 starts while earning $320,167.

Ynot Walk (Won Adequan Les Bois Derby Challenge, July 29): Throw out Ynot Walk’s last race, when he stumbled at the start of his Dash For Cash Derby trial and never challenged, and the James Hanson-trained gelding could be the horse to beat in the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship. He had won his four previous starts, including three stakes. The highlight was racing to an impressive Grade 1 win in the $169,800 Los Alamitos Winter Derby when he got a sharp start and went on to a one-half length victory. He has won six of his latest eight starts with four stakes wins.

Marys Coronitas (Won Adequan Retama Park Derby Challenge, August 8): Jorge Luis Mendoza, the owner, breeder and trainer of Marys Coronitas, is in an enviable position. She is the fastest-qualifier to the $187,000 Dash For Cash Derby (G3) on October 10 and is eligible to the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship four weeks later. She crossed the finish line in second-place in the Adequan Retama Derby Challenge, however was awarded first place upon the disqualification of Volcoms Thunder. Marys Coronitas is in sharp form as she comes into the most important races of her career.

First Down Tiny Man (Won Adequan Los Alamitos Derby Challenge, August 21): Owned by Colton O’Dell, Wendy O’Dell and Pirate Stables, First Down Tiny Man has not started since he won the Adequan Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge by a nose as the odds-on favorite. That was his first stakes win after finishing second in the $30,000 Autumn Handicap and third in the $35,000 John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge.

Wrap You Up (Won Adequan Evergreen Park Derby Challenge, August 30): Cedar Creek Tree Farm and Racing’s Wrap You Up rides a four-race winning streak capped by her win in the Adequan Grand Prairie Derby Challenge. She started her streak by taking conditioned allowance races at Portland Meadows and Emerald Downs. She then went to Canada to take her Adequan Evergreen Derby Challenge trial. A half-sister to top runners Rock You and Glock.

AJs High (Won Adequan Prairie Meadows Derby Challenge, September 12): Michael Teel’s homebred AJs High would be trying for a Challenge Championship double after winning last year’s $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship by one-half length. The winner of seven of 11 starts also has won the $306,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-Bred Derby (RG3) and the $50,000 John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge in addition to his Adequan Prairie Meadows Derby Challenge win.


*A note from Wrangler Ace Martha Claussen:

$10k Claimer to G1 Winner: Don’t miss the story I wrote about Zoomin Effortlessly, the 2014 TQHA Champion Aged Gelding who won the recent Refrigerator Handicap (G1).

Final Weekend for Prairie Meadows: Tom Lepic's multiple stakes winner The Fiscal Cliff drew the outside post in a field of 10 for Saturday's $200,000 Jim Bader Futurity, the penultimate race on an all-stakes closing night program at Prairie Meadows. The action gets underway at 6:30 p.m. (Central).

The eight-race card will also feature the final of the $106,477 Altoona Derby with the ten-fastest qualifiers from trials run on September 25. Michael Teel's AJs High, a true "horse for the course" had a perfect five race win streak at the Iowa racetrack heading into Altoona Derby trials. He was fractious in the gate and finished sixth. However, the striking son of Apollitical Jess still ran fast enough (:19.926) to set the eighth fastest qualifying time for the 400-yard final. Last year's John Deeere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) winner, trained by Charley Hunt, will represent Iowa again this year in the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championships (G3) at Lone Star Park on November 7.

Wrangler Ace Jennifer Hancock Live at Lone Star: Wrangler Racing Ace Jennifer Hancock will be onsite Saturday, October 10 at Lone Star Park for the evening card which will be highlighted by the final of the $448,515 Dash for Cash Futurity (G1) as well as the $194,100 Dash for Cash Derby. She will join Lone Star Park handicapper Rick Lee in his pre-race televised preview show, and will greet fans throughout the evening with educational materials, courtesy of AQHA. Get her free tip sheet!

For the fifth time, the Grand Prairie racetrack hosts the 2015 Bank of America Challenge Championships on November 6-7.

Visit the Q-Racing Aces page on Facebook or follow them @HorseRacingAces on Twitter to learn more about the upcoming Bank of America Challenge. Excellent videos, produced by RaceView Network, are posted with recaps of the regional winners heading to Texas for the Bank of America Challenge Championships!

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.