Challenge Trio at Turf This Weekend

Races offer final berths to Challenge Championships.

Q-Racing Journal
October 17, 2013

The last stop on the year-long path to the Bank of America Challenge Championships is at Turf Paradise on Sunday afternoon when the $60,000 Bank of America Turf Paradise Challenge (G3), the $20,000 John Deere Turf Paradise Juvenile Challenge and the $17,000 Red Cell Turf Paradise Distance Challenge are contested.

The winners of each race earn the final berth in their respective races during the Bank of America Challenge Championships on November 9 at Los Alamitos.

Rancho Los Dos Portrillos’ Testing The Ice (Stoli-Streakin La Tac by Streakin La Jolla) served notice in the Bank of America Turf Paradise Challenge trials that he will be dangerous in the 440-yard finals. He blew away the competition to the tune of 3 ¼ lengths. His time of :21.346 was easily the fastest-qualifying time from two trials.

Testing The Ice was the odds-on choice in the trial after finishing second by a head to champion Prospect To The Top in the All American Gold Cup (G3) at Ruidoso Downs for trainer Brandon Muniz. The classy gelding also raced to a fourth-place finish in the All American Derby (G1) behind champion Ochoa and fifth in the Bank of America Remington Park Challenge (G2) to world champion Cold Cash 123.

Carolyn and Ralph Fales’ Block N Tackle (Tac It Like A Man-Watchin The Rain by Takin On The Cash) won the first trial with the second fastest time of :21.547, the equivalent of 1 1/2 lengths slower than Testing The Ice. Sent off as the 4-5 choice in the trial, Block N Tackle rallied to win by one-half length. The trial score was his first win since taking the $38,000 AQRA Turf Paradise Derby back in December.

Block N Tackle, bred and trained by Matt Fales, loves Turf Paradise, with seven wins from seven starts. His wins include the 2011 runnings of the $75,772 Desert Classic Futurity (RG3) and the $65,930 AQRA Turf Paradise Futurity.

Heat Warning (A Regal Choice-Its a Dry Heat (TB) by Dixieland Heat), also owned by Ralph and Carolyn Fales and trained by Matt Fales, leads the way into the John Deere Turf Paradise Juvenile Challenge trying to remain undefeated. The colt won his first three starts, highlighted by a game nose win in the Desert Classic Futurity (R) in May. He returned from a layoff since that stakes win to take his John Deere Turf Paradise Challenge trial, with the fastest-qualifying time of :17.887 for 350 yards. He won the second of three trials by three quarters of a length.

Porfirio Carrasco’s Tres Magicals (Tres Seis-Fishers Proud by Fishers Dash) won her trial by a length with the second-fastest time of :17.981 for trainer Dean Frey. She is stakes tested, with a close third in the $30,000 Ed Burke Memorial Juvenile (R) and third in the $43,000 John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge.

The Tony Sedillo-owned and -trained Flyin Fish (Fishers Favorite-Jazzing Sheree by Jazzing Hi) comes into the Red Cell Turf Paradise Challenge after a productive stakes campaign at Ruidoso Downs last summer. The 5-year-old gelding won the $20,000 Bobby Crenshaw Overnight Handicap, was second in the $30,000 Fine Loom Handicap and third in the $20,000 Tricky Dust Stakes.