Track Record in BOA Sam Houston Challenge

Daytona B sets new 440-yard mark at Sam Houston Race Park.

News Release

Daytona B, a 4-year-old son of First Down Dash, delivered a track-record-setting performance in Saturay’s feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $105,840 Bank of America Sam Houston Championship Challenge (G2). With confident handling by rider Esgar Ramirez, Daytona B surged to the wire of the 440-yard stakes in :21.276, besting the previous record of :21.322 set by Diamond Tres Seis on August 29, 2008.

The well-traveled Texas-bred, owned by Gregorio Garcia Garza, is trained by Rolando Almanza and was the fourth-fastest qualifier in trials contested on March 28. But tonight, he was sharp and emerged victorious against a very contentious field.

Starting from post position 8, Daytona B broke well and gained momentum, as did fastest qualifier Jessies First Down, a 4-year-old son of FDD Dynasty owned by Ted G. Abrams Sr. and trained by Leslie Padilla. The photo finish sign was posted and Daytona B was declared the winner. Both Daytona B and Jessies First Down, piloted by Rodrigo Vallejo, earned a speed index of 112.

“He’s a really amazing horse and Rolando has done an amazing job training him,” said Ramirez. “He tries really hard. It was so close; I wasn’t sure I had it, but it was a really nice race.”

Almanza won the 2014 Bank of America Sam Houston Championship Challenge with Dash Master Jess and was very grateful to be back in the winner’s circle this year.

“First of all, I always thank the Lord for blessing me,” said Almanza. “I still can’t believe it. I thought we had run second!”

Daytona B is no stranger to Bank of America Challenge Championships. Last October, he was the winner of the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) at Prairie Meadows.

From Iowa, he shipped to Hialeah Park, where he made five starts, winning the $100,000 Sam Abbey Invitational. He is currently ranked seventh on the weekly AQHA poll, but Almanza says he will take some time off.

“This horse has been on the road, everywhere: Florida, Iowa, but now we are going to give him a rest and save him for Lone Star.”

Daytona B ($5.40) will advance to the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1). The 2015 Bank of America Challenge Championships will take place at Lone Star Park on Saturday, November 7.

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