Challenge Doubleheader at Lone Star

Distaffers and distance horses star in Bank of America Racing Challenge races at Lone Star Park.

September 27, 2012

Jose Salazar’s Bertha Venation is searching for her third-straight stakes win in the $41,760 Merial Lone Star Distaff Challenge at 400 yards and Diane Heath’s All About Larry likely will start as the prohibitive choice in the $34,830 Red Cell Lone Star Distance Challenge over 870 yards as they head a Bank of America Racing Challenge doubleheader on Friday night at Lone Star Park.

The winners qualify for their respective championship races during the Bank of America Challenge Championships on October 27 at Prairie Meadows.

Bertha Venation (Corona Caliente-Dash To Glory by Texigo Star) was second in the Merial Sam Houston Distaff Challenge and then narrowly won a pair of minor stakes at Retama Park. She won a division of the Selma Stakes by a head and then took the King William Stakes by a neck. She finished well in each of those 350-yard sprints.

A 5-year-old mare, Bertha Venation has won stakes in three of her four years of competition and was second in three stakes the other year.

Ebelyn Rojas’ Endless Ocean (Ocean Runaway-Debs Cartel by Corona Cartel) makes her first appearance since finishing third in the Harrah’s Dash back in January. The Isidro Flores-trained mare was away from the track for more than a year before the Harrah’s Dash and ended her 3-year-old season by racing in the Texas Classic Derby (G1).

In the Red Cell Lone Star Distance Challenge, All About Larry (Heza Motor Scooter-Come Hell Or Hiwater by Shoot Yeah) should be the favorite after dominating the 870-yard Master Salls Handicap by 9 3/4 lengths in his most recent start. It was his second stakes win in three starts. The John Stinebaugh-trained gelding took the lead soon after the start and steadily increased his lead throughout the Master Salls for his fourth win from six 2012 starts.

Three starts ago, All About Larry used the same front-running style to take the Sun Ray Park Marathon by 3 3/4 lengths.

Dark Horse Partnership’s Kite Flyer (Royal Quick Dash-Cymbidiam by Tommy De Great) also comes into the Red Cell Lone Star Distance Challenge off a gate-to-wire victory; this in a $12,500 handicap at Retama Park on August 4 as the 6-5 favorite. He gained that strong favoritism after winning the Governor’s Cup Marathon and finishing second in the Red Cell Sam Houston Distance Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park.