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Prairie Meadows Challenge Recap

Jockey Stormy Smith has a big night as Iowa track hosts six-pack of Bank of America Challenge events.

September 16, 2012

Iowa’s Prairie Meadows, which on October 27 will host the 20th running of the Bank of America Challenge Championships, presented six Challenge races on Saturday night with the winners earning a berth in American Quarter Horse racing’s marquee night of racing. Jockey Stormy Smith enjoyed a big night as he won four of the six Challenge races.

In the $25,470 Merial Prairie Meadows Distaff Challenge for fillies and mares, 6-5 favorite Painted Sable prevailed by three-quarters of a length for owners Bobby Barnett and Tommy Hays and trainer Ed Ross Hardy. Stormy Smith rode the Utah-bred PYC Paint Your Wagon filly to victory in :19.879 for 400 yards.

Bred by Lance Robinson and Max Anderson, Painted Sable finished second in the 2010 Manor Downs Futurity (G1) and has now won seven of 19 career starts.

Walt and Pat Fletcher’s Believers Gathering finished second with Im A Feature Girl in third.

The $19,440 Pfizer Prairie Meadows Starter Allowance Challenge went to 8-5 favorite Zoomfection, an Oklahoma-bred gelding by Shazoom running for owner Danny Caldwell and trainer Brian Muse. Stormy Smith piloted the 4-year-old to a half-length victory with a time of :17.726 for 350 yards.

Zoomfection started the year against $5,000 claiming company and then climbed up the ladder to the $15,000 level before winning the Pfizer Challenge. His record now stands at 20-5-4-1 with a bankroll of $54,775.

Summit Bid came in from Canterbury Park to run second with Royal Darius in third.

Horton Racing LLC’s homebred Call Her Hero, a 3-year-old filly by Valiant Hero, captured the $29,207 Red Cell Prairie Meadows Distance Challenge (G3) by a half-length under Stormy Smith for his third straight win on the card. The Charley Hunt trainee covered 870 yards in :46.052.

Winning for the third time in as many starts around the turn, Call Her Hero picked up her first career stakes win. The filly enjoyed only modest success in five starts on the straightaway and then rolled to an eight-length maiden win in her 870-yard debut and followed that with a nearly two-length win in her Red Cell trial.

LFR Simply The Best rallied to grab second with Free Stater in third-place.

In the $39.060 Adequan Prairie Meadows Derby Challenge (G3), Painted Lies got up to win by a neck over even-money favorite Huckleberry Mojito. Ridden by Cody Smith and trained by Amber Blair for owner Tom Maher, Painted Lies dashed 400 yards in :19.875.

Bred in Oklahoma by Bob Moore Farms LLC and sired by PYC Paint Your Wagon, Painted Lies picked up his fifth win of the year and seventh of his career. The gelding also won the Minnesota Stallion Breeders/NCQHRA Derby (R) at Canterbury Park.

“He had something to run at tonight,” said Blair. “He ran straight and turned the tables on the filly.”

Huckleberry Mojito, who came in with a three-race winning streak at Canterbury including a victory over Painted Lies, finished second with Mr Corona Blue in third.

Jockey Stormy Smith struck again in the $50,760 John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge with 2-1 favorite Heroes Heart and gave breeder/owner Horton Racing LLC a second winner on the card. The Texas-bred filly by Valiant Hero rallied to win by a half-length in :17.621 for 350 yards.

Trained by Charley Hunt, Heroes Heart picked up her second career victory after breaking her maiden in the trials. She previously finished second against maidens at Remington Park and third in a trial at Fair Meadows. She had earnings of $6,950 before the race and picked up another $23.349 with the win.

SM Lookatthatfurr, the longest shot in the field at odds of 60-1, had an early lead and held on for second. Nomonkeybizness finished third.

In the richest race of the night, 19-1 longshot Ethics Aside upset heavily favored Llano Teller in the $73,980 Bank of America Prairie Meadows Championship Challenge (G2). With Oscar Delgado aboard for trainer and owner Jorge Gonzalez, Ethics Aside beat Llano Teller by a half-length in :21.718 for 440 yards.

“He set a track record at Hoosier,” said Gonzalez. “We know how fast he is, but to beat a horse like Llano Teller is hard to believe.”

Bred by Joe Kirk Fulton in Texas, Ethics Aside won the $84,800 Bradford Stakes in his last outing at Hoosier Park. The Mr Jess Perry runner has won seven of 28 career starts.

Millionaire and three-time Grade 1 winner Llano Teller had to settle for second but can still compete in the $300,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) thanks to his win in the Bank of America Remington Championship Challenge (G2) earlier in the year.

“He always runs so hard,” said trainer Heath Reed. “(Jockey) G.R. (Carter) said that he was distracted when T J Gold was acting up. I’m glad we got an out over the track. I expect he will run better on October 27.”

Longshot Wheres Your Wagon finished third.