Lone Star Challenge Races

Runners look for last-minute invitations to the Challenge Championships.

Q-Racing Journal

Lone Star hosts Distaff, Distance Challenge races.

There are only a few invitations left for runners to pick up for the fast-approaching Bank of America Challenge Championships, and two of them will be given out on Saturday night at Lone Star Park. Not only will the winners get a chance to compete in high-dollar stakes, but they will also have home court advantage, as the Championships will be at the Grand Prairie, Texas, track, on November 7.


CJs Rocksolid headlines the $30,000 Zoetis Lone Star Distance Challenge. Rockin J Racing Horses and Jack Manning’s 5-year-old gelding just missed a berth earlier this year, finishing a game second in the May 10 Zoetis Remington Distance Challenge (G3). He won the Remington Distance Handicap (G3) and Brigand Stakes at Ruidoso earlier this year. CJs Rocksolid is by Rock Solid Jess and out of Sultry Miss.


Lining up against him is last year’s Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1) winner Jessa Little Rusty, who will partner again with jockey Omar Reyes. This will be the horse’s first start back since that win. Owned by Louis Howard, the 5-year-old gelding is by Mr Jess Perry and out of Rustys Quickid.


Veteran The Field Cricket also looks for a big score, as he makes his 40th career start in the race. Owned by Claud Denson, the 7-year-old by Lead The Field comes into the race off a victory in the August 8 San Marcos Handicap at Retama Park.


Grade 1 winner Lil Famous Dash will try to pursue her Challenge Championships goal in the $30,000 Merial Lone Star Distaff Challenge. The Scarlett Hill Farms homebred last year won the Texas Classic Derby (G1) at Lone Star Park, and owner Gus Barakis hopes the mare will have a chance for more Grade 1 fall glory at Lone Star, if she is able to qualify to the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1). She has won or placed in 11 of her 15 career starts, with earnings of more than $150,000.


In her Merial Distaff trial, Lil Famous Dash was second behind Turner Farms’ Visual Magic, a 3-year-old daughter of Corona Cartel. The filly will face distaff company after a summer of Grade 1 derby trials. She contested Politicaly Correct’s $268,000 Oklahoma Derby, and then was first, second or third in non-qualifying trials for the Grade 1 Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American derbies. In the latter, she was third behind fastest qualifier and eventual winner Apollitical Blood.


Lining up against them is Melovemetwo, who enters the race off a two-win streak, including a game win in her Merial Distaff trial. Melovemetwo is a 5-year-old by Furyofthewind and looks for her first stakes victory in her 23d career start.

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