Emerald Challenge Recap

Seattle-area track hosts pair of Bank of America Challenge events.

September 2, 2012

Emerald Downs near Seattle showcased American Quarter Horse racing on Sunday with a pair of Bank of America Challenge races. In the $63,180 Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge, Bob and Scott Giltner’s A Royal Dervish scored a half-length victory with a 440-yard dash in :21.960. Never Marin rode the Washington-bred gelding by Royal Miracle Dip for trainer Kurt Calton.

Bred by Abigail Kawananakoa out of the First Down Dash mare Three Royal Roses, A Royal Dervish is now a winner of 12 of 34 starts with earnings of $129,553. The 7-year-old gelding also won the 2010 Bank of America Elko County Championship Challenge in Nevada, and he finished third in last year’s Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge. This victory earned A Royal Dervish a spot in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) to be held October 27 at Prairie Meadows in Iowa.

Donald and Beverly Conway’s Devon Dat Cash, who won this same race last year, finished a game second and pushed his career bankroll close to $100,000. Vodka With Ice, owned by Oscar Jaime Diaz Moreno, finished third.

In the $16,290 Pfizer Emerald Starter Allowance Challenge, Jose Angel De La Paz’s J Mancuso held on to win by a head as the 7-10 favorite and earn a berth in the $75,000 Pfizer Starter Allowance Challenge Championship. Trained by Juan Sanguino and ridden by J. Luis Torres, J Mancuso stopped the timer at :17.760 for 350 yards.

This marked the first career start away from Los Alamitos for J Mancuso, who now sports a record of 14-5-1-3 with earnings of $25,359. The 3-year-old Stel Corona gelding was making his first start since a $6,250 claiming win in March.

Bianca Mendez’s My Miracle Dip took second with A Stellar Corona in third for owner Saul Mendoza.