Challenge Championships Friday Recap

Prairie Meadows presents a stakes-filled card on Friday on the first night of the Bank of America Challenge Championships.

Q-Racing Journal

The Bank of America Challenge Championships kicked off on Friday night at Prairie Meadows near Des Moines, Iowa, with three Challenge races, two Iowa-bred stakes and the rich Valley Junction Futurity. The action continues on Saturday night with the six major Challenge Championship races, two Challenge undercard stakes and three other stakes. Following is a recap of Friday’s races:

$20,000 Nutrena Starter Allowance
The first Bank of America Challenge event of the evening was the $20,000 Nutrena Starter Allowance, and even-money favorite Stormin Hero came through with a three-quarter length victory under jockey Yordanis Amaro. Bred in Texas by Todd and Jodi Horton and owned and trained by Ricardo Martinez, the 3-year-old filly by Valiant Hero clocked 350 yards in :17.481 with a 20 mph tail wind. The filly improved her career record to 13-3-2-1 with earnings of $31,751.

JZ Zoomin Wootan, making just the third start of his career for owner/trainer Roberto Gomez, finished a clear second with Cartels Runaway in third for owner Double R Horse Racing LLC and trainer Zachary Quezada.

$68,400 Terrace Hill Stakes
In the $68,400 Terrace Hill Stakes (R) for older Iowa-breds, Brent and Karen Clay’s homebred Shake Em Streakin closed nicely to prevail by three-parts of a length as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering. Ridden by Stormy Smith and trained by Brent Clay, the 7-year-old gelding by Shake Em Open dashed 400 yards in :19.864 while winning for the eighth time in his career. This marked the fourth time that the gelding has run in the Terrace Hill and his first victory in the race after finishing second, third and fifth over the past three years. This was also his first career stakes win. His earnings now stand at $151,847 with a record of 26-8-5-4.

Favored Eyeowa Cyclone, a 9-year-old gelding make the 61st start of his career, took second for owner Charlton Hunt and trainer Charley Hunt. TRS Justamazingpadon finished third for owner Vernon Hammes and trainer Kelly Wellington.

$20,000 Q Racing Video Distance Stakes
The $20,000 Q Racing Video Distance Stakes went to Reliance Ranches LLC’s Streakin Zoomer, who took an early lead from post four in the 870-yard contest and scored by 1 ¾ lengths at the wire with David Pinon aboard for conditioner Ed Hardy. This marked the second stakes win of the year for the Louisiana-bred son of Shazoom after he took the North Dakota Horse Park Bonus Challenge in Fargo. All told, he has banked $69,589 with a record of 25-7-8-0. The winner, who was timed in :45.700, was bred by J.E., D.C and C.T. Jumonville.

Another son of Shazoom completed the exacta as Movin On’s Zonic Zoom closed well for trainer Mike Taylor. Favorite Hastabealeader, a two-time winner at the Prairie Meadows meet, finished third for trainer Shilo Johnson and owner John Johnson.

$108,200 Polk County Derby
Tell Her Shes Queen pulled off a 15-1 upset in the $108,200 Polk County Derby (R) for Iowa-bred 3-year-olds. Piloted by Jorge Torres for owner/breeder Summerhill Farm and trainer Alex Wessels, the brown filly by Teller Cartel captured the race by three-quarters of a length in :19.749 for 400 yards. This was the first win for Tell Her Shes Queen since she broke her maiden for a $20,000 claiming price at Prairie Meadows in August of last year. This win was worth $43,280 and boosted her lifetime earnings to $61,614.

Louisiana Doug, a Jess Louisiana Blue gelding running for owner/breeder Roger Wessels and also trained by Alex Wessels, held second after having an early lead, and favorite Iris Dashing Royal, a gelded son of Sweet First Down trained by Tony Dean Jones and owned by Warren Garrels, took third.

$20,000 AQHA Members Plus Stakes
In the $20,000 AQHA Members Plus Stakes for fillies and mares, favorite Glory Rider scored a game half-length victory over 44-1 longshot CC Tres. With Cesar Gomez in the saddle for trainer Kasey Willis and owner You and Me Partners, the Oklahoma-bred filly by Valiant Hero clocked the 400-yard distance in :19.580 to pick up the second Challenge stakes win of her career. Last year she captured the Race for Hope Bonus Challenge at Canterbury Park, and over her career she has won four of 16 starts with earnings of $93,478. Homer Hill bred her out of the On a High mare Mighty B Doll.

Ralph Young’s CC Tres, who this year has raced in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota, finished second for trainer Mike Taylor. Daisy To Go, trained by William Harris for owner Boyce and Siegel LLC, was third.

$279,950 Valley Junction Futurity
In the richest and final race on the Prairie Meadows card, a trio of longshots combined for a unexpected finish in a time that nearly broke the track record. At the wire in the $279,950 Valley Junction Futurity it was 22-1 longshot Nkhoots over 58-1 longshot Gee Whit with 21-1 longshot Smarty Money First taking third. A $2 exacta bet returned $3,213.20 while a $2 trifecta was good for $7,640.60.

Bred by Joann Adams and Duane Harrel and owned by Harrel, Nkhoots clocked 350 yards in :17.163 with a 20 mph tailwind to just miss the track record of :17.130 set by None As Easy in 2006. The Oklahoma-bred filly by PYC Paint Your Wagon earned $111,980 for the win, and the Clinton Crawford trainee improved her record to 6-3-2-1 with a bankroll of $128,822. She was sent to post at odds of 22-1 after posting the ninth-fastest qualifying time with a win in her trial.

Bill and Tom Maher’s Gee Whit, a One Famous Eagle filly trained by Jason Olmstead, ran a game race to finish second. Victory Farms’ Smarty Money First, a First Smart Money gelding conditioned by Brian Muse, got third-place money.

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