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CLAREMORE, OK—SEPTEMBER 13, 2020—Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity finalist Empressum defeated Jc Wild King by a head in the first of two trials Sunday for the $30,000-added John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge at Will Rogers Downs.
Ridden by jockey Armando Ramirez II, Empressum's :17.772 clocking, a 91 speed index with an 8 mph tailwind for the 350 yards, was the top mark of the day.
Trainer Guillermo Valdivia saddled the son of leading sire Apollitical Jess to his fourth win in six starts for owner-breeders Jeff Jones and Steve Holt. Out of the First Down Dash mare Crazy Down Corona, Empressum has earned nearly $60,000.
The aforementioned Jc Wild King, also a son of Apollitical Jess, held on for the second fastest clocking of :17.7888 seconds, a 90 speed index. Winless in three starts, Jc Wild King races for owner-breeder Jose Cervantes. Mario Delgado was aboard the Oklahoma-bred gelding from the Stoli mare Oh Cherokee Rose.
John Deere Ruidoso Downs Juvenile(G3) runner-up Isa Super Freak broke his maiden in the second trial with a half-length effort over Jess Good Enough to get the third fastest time of :17.869 seconds, equaling an 88 speed-index.
The son of first-crop sire Ivan James led gate-to-wire for owner-breeder Debra Gotovac and trainer Bradley Bolen. The Texas-bred gelding, from the Jet Black Patriot mare Isa Precious Patriot, has compiled a (7) 1-4-0 record and earned $25,039 this year. Cody Wainscott has the riding call.
The 10 fastest qualifiers will return to Will Rogers Downs on Sunday, October 4th to vie for the winner's share of the $30,000-added purse. The winner will also earn a berth to the October 24th $125,000 Grade 2 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship to be contested during the Bank of America Challenge Championships at The Downs at Albuquerque.
For a complete list of John Deere Will Rogers Juvenile Challenge qualifiers, their times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys CLICK HERE.
Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located 3 miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For more information, visit www.cherokeecasino.com and click on the Will Rogers Downs tab, or call (918) 283-8800. For additional information visit CLICK HERE to visit the track's website.