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April 8, 2012
For the third time in as many years, veteran gelding Rylees Boy captured the $120,510 Bank of America Sunland Championship Challenge (G2), and his victory this time proved to be the easiest yet as he cruised to a two-length win as the 2-5 favorite. Owned and trained by Gerardo Ochoa-Pena, the 7-year-old Arizona-bred earned $55,435 for the win on Sunday in addition to a berth in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) to be held October 27 at Prairie Meadows in Iowa.
Ridden by regular jockey Joe Ruiz, the son of Heza Motor Scooter stopped the timer at :21.072 for 440 yards on a fast track. Rylees Boy, who was bred by Gary Nesbitt out of the Rocky Jones mare Pipistrelle, has now won 19 of 39 career starts with lifetime earnings of $783,666.
A one-time $6,250 claimer, Rylees Boy has finished in the top three for 27 consecutive races dating back to October 2008. Last year he earned AQHA Supreme Racehorse status and the title of champion aged gelding. If he starts in the Bank of America Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows, it will mark his fourth appearance in that race with a third and two seconds in his first three attempts. Rylees Boy earned his first trip to the Challenge Championships by winning at Turf Paradise in 2009 and then at Sunland the next two years.
Leticia Jaquez’s A Spring Snow, a gelding by This Snow Is Royal, closed to take second with the Azoom gelding Zoomin Express in third for owner Patrick Sanchez. Grade 1 winner and champion Little Bit Of Baja, who was making his third start after not racing in 2010 or 2011, finished sixth.
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