Q-Racing Blog: Rolling Challenge

The Bank of America Challenge Championship winners are moving forward.

The Bank of America Challenge Championship winners are moving forward.

What have the major winners at last fall’s Bank of America Racing Challenge Championships been up to lately and what are their 2018 plans? Let’s find out.


It’s difficult to determine in March where a horse will be running on November 17. However, it is safe to assume that these horses will be looking to compete in the 25th renewal of the Bank of America Racing Challenge Championships on that date at Los Alamitos.


Here’s what is currently known.


The Fiscal Cliff, the $345,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) winner and subsequently the reigning champion aged stallion, was raced by Tom Lepic. Lepic sold the son of PYC Paint Your Wagon to Ray and Lanie Whitmore’s Whitmore Ranch. The stallion will race for them this year.

 
“He’s with Kasey Willis at Remington Park,” said Lanie. “There are no race decisions yet. He’s doing great. He had some time off after the Champion of Champions (G1) and went back to Kasey in January. He’s a special horse.”


Plans could include a summer campaign at Ruidoso Downs or Prairie Meadows.


The Fiscal Cliff is a consistent competitor with 22 on-the-board finishes from 24 starts. The stallion has raced to 13 wins and earned $580,335.


Michael Pohl’s homebred Jess Paint Your Lips could have a big year. She has won seven of 10 starts, including the $105,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) by three quarters of a length as the 3-5 favorite.


“We just bred her to Jess Good Candy and she is going back in training at Remington Park with Stacy Charette-Hill,” said Pohl. “We’re looking for a big year.


“I like the Challenge program and we’ll probably take her to Ruidoso and Los Alamitos.”

  
Rogelio Carbajal Santos’ Dauns First Desiro ran up to his odds-on status in the $180,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) with a determined head victory.

 
The Desirio-sired gelding is jumping right back into the Challenge run to Los Alamitos. He came off a layoff to finish third in the $51,100 Eastex Handicap (G2) on March 9 at Remington Park.

 
“We’re going to the Bank of America Challenge at Turf Paradise (trials on April 7),” said trainer Julio Corral. “Then we’ll take him to Los Alamitos.


“He is doing well and needed that race (Eastex) after a long layoff.”

 

His previous start was his Adequan Derby Challenge Championship win on October 14.


Nancy Carrizales’ homebred Carris Cartel showed she’s game in the $131,300 John Deere Juvenile Championship (G2). After a stumble at the start, she went to work and ran down her rivals to win by a neck for then-trainer Edelmiro Carrizales. The filly made her final 2017 start in the $200,000 Sunland Park Winter Juvenile for trainer Santos Carrizales, Edelmiro’s nephew. Carris Cartel is a family project.

   
“Carris Cartel is at Sam Houston and we’re looking to run in the Challenge,” said Edelmiro. “She’s ready for this year. We’ll run this year and see what happens.”


A daughter of The Louisiana Cartel, Carris Cartel has excelled at Sam Houston. A year ago, she won the $70,000 John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge by 1 length in her second out.


The Challenge program is working for these horsemen, and they’re ready for more this year.

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