Post Positions Drawn For Bank of America Challenge Championship

Posted by Press Release on 10/24/2019

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—OCTOBER 23, 2019—Post positions for all five Bank of America Challenge Championship races were drawn during a special luncheon held Wednesday at the First Turn Lounge at Albuquerque Downs. 

A total of 10 Quarter Horse races will be contested on Saturday, including five undercard stakes. Post time for the first race is set for 6:05 p.m. (MDT). The final race of the night, the 440-yard, $250,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1), is set to go off at 9:50. 

Also at the luncheon, American Quarter Horse Association chief racing officer Janet Van Bebber announced that the 2020 Challenge Championships will be held at Albuquerque Downs on Saturday. This will mark the first time in the program’s 27-year history that the same track has hosted the Challenge Championships in back-to-back years. Following is a preview of all five Challenge Championship races, listed in the order they will be run. 

3-year-olds & older -- 870 yards
Purse, $104,500 

Let There Be Sound brings a three-race win streak into this race, the sport’s only Grade 1 stakes at the 870 distance. 

Trained by John Stinebaugh for owners Louis Howard and Corrine Howard, Let There Be Sound has won both of his starts this season, including the 870-yard, $54,137 AQHA Cox Ranch Albuquerque Distance Challenge (G3) at Albuquerque Downs on July 28. Let There Be Sound drew post 8 and will be ridden by Gilbert Ortiz. 

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments: 

  • Gone To Be Bright (Ricardo Moreno)
  • Madewell (James Flores)
  • Ms Esther (Alfredo Triana Jr.)
  • Bout Tree Fiddy (Justine Klaiber)
  • CM Once Ina Bluemoon (Cesar Franco)
  • American Hat (Jorge Torres)
  • Run Raging River Run (J.R. Ramirez)
  • Let There Be Sound (Gilbert Ortiz) 

    JOHN DEERE JUVENILE CHALLENGE CHAMPIONSHIP (G2) 2-year-olds -- 350 yards Purse, $130,625

    David L. Wisdom’s Divas First Moon, a homebred gray daughter of champion First Moonflash trained by Bob Johnson, drew the rail post for this race. 

    Divas First Moon will be making her first-ever start in New Mexico off of a neck victory as the favorite in the 350-yard, $50,303 John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge in Iowa on September 14. Stormy Smith will ride the South Dakota-bred filly, who has won her last three outs. 

    The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments: 

  • Divas First Moon (Stormy Smith)
  • Sweet Wild Time (Jorge Torres)
  • Pollitical Blood (Elias Gutierrez)
  • Rusty Blood GL (Jesse Levario
  • Pyc Lovestruck (Elliot Bachicha Jr.)
  • Thrill Of The Cartel (Jesus Canales)
  • Sables Dashin (Nakia Ramirez)
  • Valiant Lota (Alfredo Triana Jr.)
  • Jay Number 7 (Jose Vega)
  • Rrelentless (James Flores) 

    ADEQUAN DERBY CHALLENGE CHAMPIONSHIP (G3) 3-year-olds -- 400 yards Purse, $154,750

    Valiant Tiberas, a Valiant Hero gelding owned by Sergio Holguin, Cliften Nielsen, and Felix Rodriguez, heads a field of 10 3-year-olds entered in this race. 

    Valiant Tiberias is coming off of a Ruidoso Downs summer season during which he earned $126,429 from six outs, and his four wins included a three-quarter length victory in the 400-yard, $53,108 Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge on June 29. The gelding also was a finalist in Quarter Horse racing’s richest race for 3-year-olds, the 440-yard, $1,550,855 All American Derby (G1) on September 1. 

    Valiant Tiberias drew post 10 and will be ridden by James Flores for trainer Ricardo Armendariz. 

    The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments: 

  • Apollitical Mogul (Justin Shepherd)
  • Jess Wagon P (Jorge Torres)
  • Mansory (Ramiro Garcia)
  • Charlies Fury (Agustin Silva)
  • Jesstafiably Jess (Cesar Franco)
  • Getit Hot (Ricardo Moreno)
  • Rob That Wagon (Jesus Canales)
  • Kr Hi Five (J.R. Ramirez)
  • Kis My Bit (Mauro Salcedo
  • Valiant Tiberias (James Flores) 

    AWARDS RECOGNITION CONCEPTS DISTAFF CHALLENGE CHAMPIONSHIP (G1) Fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & older -- 400 yards Purse, $106,500

    One of only three Grade 1 stakes in the sport restricted to fillies and mares, this race has drawn a full field of 10, topped by likely favorite Curls Happy Wagon. 

    Trained by Stacy Charette-Hill for owners Michael Pohl and Martin Stacy, Curls Happy Wagon ended her 3-year-old season with a second-place finish, a head behind champion Hotstepper, in the 440-yard, $376,000 Texas Classic Derby (G1) at Lone Star Park. The homebred 4-year-old Pyc Paint Your Wagon mare has also enjoyed success this year, as she’s earned $81,234 from four races, and she scored a one-length victory in the 350-yard, $50,000 Decketta Stakes (G3) at Remington Park in her season debut on March 23. 

    Curls Happy Wagon drew post 4 and will be ridden by Jorge Torres. 

    The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments: 

  • Yashira Vista (Esgar Ramirez)
  • The Polar Vortex (Justin Shepherd)
  • DF Apollitical Sign (Justine Klaiber)
  • Curls Happy Wagon (Jorge Torres)
  • Preyn Onthe Mountain (Jimmy Dean Brooks)
  • LJ Moonrise (Francisco Calderon)
  • Weetonas Lafawn (Juan Pulido)
  • True Copy (Ricardo Moreno)
  • Love To Reason Br (Jesus Canales)
  • Favorite Bling (Hector Aldrete) 

    BANK OF AMERICA CHALLENGE CHAMPIONSHIP (G1) 3-year-olds & older -- 440 yards Purse, $266,250

    Contested at the classic Quarter Horse distance of 440 yards, this race offers its winner a provisional berth to the December 14, $600,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse near Los Angeles. 

    Ruben Garcia Montemayor’s Eye N Capo has earned $76,013 from four races in four states this season, and he prepped for this start with a three-quarter length victory in a 250-yard open-condition allowance dash at Retama Park near San Antonio on September 6. The 5-year-old son of the Corona Cartelstallion Capo de Capi qualified for this race with a three-quarter length win as the odds-on favorite in the 440-yard, $68,000 Bank of America Oklahoma Challenge (G2) at Remington Park in Oklahoma City on May 12. 

    Eye N Capo drew post 2 and will be ridden by Jesse Levario for trainer Josue Ponce. 

    The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments: 

  • Three Olives N Smoke (Ramiro Garcia)
  • Eye N Capo (Jesse Levario)
  • For Sweet Jess (Raul Valenzuela)
  • SF Hot Pass (Francisco Calderon)
  • Kool Odds (Nakia Ramirez)
  • Jess My Kiss (Ramon Sanchez)
  • Pirate Coves Hero (Emilio Tapia)
  • Kas Tempting (James Flores)
  • Stripsteak (Ricardo Moreno)
  • Pyc Jess Bite Mydust (Justin Shepherd) 


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    Albuquerque Downs Racetrack and Casino is located in the heart of Albuquerque at Expo New Mexico, the home of the New Mexico State Fair, and general admission and parking are always free (via the casino entrance on Louisiana and Central). For more information, visit and click on the "Racing" link at the top of the homepage. 


    The post position draw for the Bank of America Challenge Championships will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio Albuquerque (101.7 FM) on Wednesday.


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