Blog: Intermountain Challenge Numbers Up

Darrell Hare: Challenge races rolling along around the country.

May 8, 2012

Q Racing Blog

Support for the Bank of America Racing Challenge program remains very strong in the Intermountain region with the return of the 2012 John Deere Juvenile Challenge and Adequan Derby Challenge races to Les Bois Park at Boise, Idaho. The races are set to be run on July 6. We received 121 nominations for the Juvenile, compared to 88 in 2011, 63 in 2010, 64 in 2009 and 113 in 2008, the last year the Juvenile was run at Les Bois. We received 42 nominations for the Derby, which is also a substantial increase over the past four years. The Red Cell Distance Challenge will also be run at Les Bois Park on July 6. We certainly appreciate the support of everyone involved during these past few years when were unable to run Challenge races at Les Bois Park and want to thank everyone in the Intermountain region for their continued support of the Challenge program.   

Four Regional Challenge race finals were run at Remington Park on Sunday, May 6, and three of the four winners were all well-known outstanding runners in their respective division. Wootan Racing and Reed Land and Cattle Co.’s Llano Teller, a 4-year-old gelding with total earnings exceeding $1.64 million, won the Championship. Robert Gentry’s homebred Fredaville, a 6-year-old multiple stakes-winning mare, won the Distaff, and Steve Holt’s De Passem Okey, two-time champion distance horse, won the Distance division. G. R. Carter Jr. was aboard each of these three winners. Dear Henry, a 4-year-old gelding, ridden by Jose Montoya for owner Juan Escalante, won the Pfizer Starter Allowance division. The list of horses qualified so far for the Challenge Championships to be run at Prairie Meadows, in Altoona, Iowa, on October 27 will certainly add to a very impressive and outstanding field of some of the best racing Quarter Horses in the country.

Trials for the Texas Challenge Juvenile and Derby races were run this past weekend at Sam Houston Park. On Saturday, there were more than 10,000 racing fans in attendance to watch the Challenge Derby trials when a power transformer malfunctioned after the first trial, creating a loss of power throughout the entire facility. The transformer was replaced and power was restored in approximately two hours. It was reported that many of these fans remained on site during the blackout and were able to watch the remaining Challenge Derby trials, along with the Kentucky Derby. It was a good set of trials for Gary Kurz. His homebred Charmin Chief Corona was the fastest qualifier for the Derby. Then in the Juvenile, Jody Pops Zoomer topped the list. The gelding was bred by Gary, and is co-owned by his breeder and Randal Kurz. Good luck to everyone in the finals, which are scheduled for May 19.

Darrell Hare
Director of the Racing Challenge