James First Affair Breaks Track Record in Oneida Bonus Challenge
Multiple stakes winner James First Affair won the AQHA Bonus Challenge (not black type) Saturday at Oneida.

© Gene Wilson & Associates
James First Affair Breaks Track Record in Oneida Bonus Challenge

MALAD, ID—AUGUST 12, 2017—It may not have been a surprise that the class of the field, James First Affair, won the $4,960 AQHA Bonus Challenge (not black type) at Oneida on Saturday. But for the 5-year-old horse with lifetime earnings of over $100,000, it was not enough to win – he and jockey Never Marin also set a new track record at 300 yards in Malad: 14.961, for a 111 speed index.

James First Affair ($5.20) is trained by Mark Hanson for owners Robin Dunn, Larry Chapple and RTM Stables. He was bred in Oklahoma by Tom Bradbury and Kim Kessinger, by Ivory James, out of Fancys First Affair by First Down Dash.

James First Affair has had a long history in the Challenge program. Now five years old, the horse qualified for the AQHA Derby Challenge Championship (G3) in 2015 and has competed in regional qualifiers at Emerald in 2016 and Pocatello in 2017. James First Affair won the Bitterroot Derby at Les Bois and qualified for the Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) in 2015.

Finishing nearly a length behind the winning pair, but several lengths ahead of the rest of the pack, was Sparklin Cartel and jockey Kylie Schoonover. Garth Blattner trains the 4-year-old daughter of The Louisiana Cartel for owners Les and Darla Barlow.

Sparklin Cartel was bred in Idaho by Les Barlow and Gary Messenger, out of Sign of Pride by First Wrangler. The consistent filly has now hit the board in 12 of her 19 lifetime starts and has earned over $20,000 by racing almost exclusively in Idaho.

Kissin Kate Barlow and jockey Dallas Erickson led the rest of the field in the Oneida Bonus Challenge. Kissin Kate Barlow is a 4-year-old Tr Dasher Filly, bred in California by Giambi Stables Llc. She is out of the Apollo mare Apollos Winner.

Kissin Kate Barlow is trained by Tony Hyde and is owned by Dawna and Delra Talbot. The filly campaigned at Los Alamitos last year, competing in both the Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge and the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1).

Completing the field were Absolut Pride and My Fair Dashair.