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Challenge Championship: Stuck Out

SFR Stuck On You wants to make history repeat.

By Andrea Caudill
Q-Racing Journal
November 8, 2013

sfr stuck on you

Trainer Bret Vickery ponies SFR Stuck On You. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

The $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos will offer a field of 11 tough sophomores going head-to-head over 400 yards.

One of the favorites is Dennie and Kris Hill’s SFR Stuck On You, who is hoping to repeat some family history.

See, the gray filly is the younger sister of LDS Dash For Dylan, who won this very race on this very track eight years ago, saddled by her trainer Bret Vickery.

And the Hills are hoping for some repeating history too, as they’ve had some success with gray fillies before – they campaigned champion and All American Futurity (G1) winner AB What A Runner in a career that saw her earn $1,342,389.

As for SFR Stuck On You, she enters the race with nine races under her belt so far this year, and three wins and four seconds. On a warm and sunny Southern California morning on the day before the race, Vickery ponied her out on the track to let her stretch her legs, and saw her bouncing and eager to go.

“We just kinda sat on her and let her freshen up,” Vickery says. “She’s acting like she’s ready to go this morning and we’re hoping for the best.”

The gray filly was bred by Donna King, Bret’s mother-in-law, and the Hills purchased her prior to her racing career.

Vickery’s familiarity with the family has helped guide his decisions with SFR Stuck On You. She didn’t make her first start until late August of her freshman year, and only made three starts total.

“They don’t run until late in their 2-year-old and into their 3-year-old year,” he notes of the family. “We don’t start them early – they’re kind of big horses, so we don’t run them real early. She was lightly raced as a 2-year-old, only had a couple starts, but has been a really nice 3-year-old.”

This year she quickly picked up her maiden win, and then continued advancing rapidly. She finished a neck back in the La Pacifica Handicap in May, and then returned in August to win the $42,480 Adequan Los Alamitos Derby Challenge. She boasts a career-high speed index of 102 and $50,385 in earnings going into this race.

SFR Stuck On You is by Stel Corona. She and LDS Dash For Dylan are both out of the Proudest Effort mare LDS Good Goin Gracie, a homebred for King. The stakes-placed mare produced LDS Dash For Dylan, a gelding by Dashing Cleat, as her second foal. The big gray gelding raced 34 times and earned $417,402, with six career stakes wins and multiple Grade 1 placings.

“Hopefully she’ll get better as she gets older, like he did. That’s what we’re hoping for,” Vickery says of his current trainee. 

The Hills, who live in Blackfoot, Idaho, are longtime clients of Vickery’s. They, too, have a good history with the Challenge – in 1999, he provided one of the biggest upsets in Championship history with a 46-1 win in what was then the Challenge Championship (G1) over the likes of Joanna Kate, Tailor Fit and Kool Kue Baby. Of course, they also ascended American Quarter Horse racing’s highest peak, winning the 2002 All American Futurity (G1) with AB What A Runner. 

“They’re great owners, really good people and always have good horses,” Vickery says. “Policy Tacs was our first big horse, and together we’ve done a lot of good things. It’s been great to have them as owners.”

And now SFR Stuck On You, who Vickery describes as laid-back and professional, looks to make some history of her own.

The 21st Bank of America Challenge Championships are November 9 at Los Alamitos Race Course at Los Alamitos, California. Watch the festivities live on Q-Racing Video at www.qracingvideo.com and stay tuned to complete coverage from the Q-Racing Journal at www.aqharacing.com.