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© Emerald Downs / Roberts Communications
AUBURN, WA—AUGUST 25, 2019—In the first of three regional Challenge qualifiers at Emerald Downs on Sunday, Cm Once Ina Bluemoon was away quickly and hit the wire over three lengths in front of the rest of the field in the $23,001 Emerald Downs Distance Challenge.
The final time for the 870-yard stake was 45.949 and the winner earned a 95 speed index.
Cm Once Ina Bluemoon ($3.40) was ridden by Javier Matias for owner and trainer Nick Lowe. The heavy post-time favorite made his first start in an 870-yard race in Sunday’s Challenge stake, though he had prepped with a win in his most recent start at Prineville in a 610-yard stake.
Sunday’s win was his ninth career win in 26 lifetime starts and he now has career earnings of $64,771. The Distance Challenge win was his third consecutive win; each win has been in a stake and at a different track.
Heza Gamer and jockey Robert Burney led the charge for second place. Heza Gamer is a 5-year-old gelding by Game Patriot trained by Scott Raley. He is owned by Connie Chumley; Gary Chumley bred him in Oregon our of the Splash Bac mare Sneak Bac.
Heza Gamer had competed in three hook races prior to Sunday’s start, with two wins at the distance.
A head behind Heza Gamer were L Bar D Bonnie Lee and jockey Jake Samuels. L Bar D Bonnie Lee hails from the barn of Hector Magallanes and is owned by Herman Torres. The 5-year-old mare is an Oregon-bred daughter of Giorgino, bred by Darrell and Linda Sanders out of Dash Home Deb, by Strawfly Special.
L Bar D Bonnie Lee is multiple stakes placed and won a 600-yard stake at Grants Pass in her most recent start.
Completing the field were Snowbound Preacher, Flyin Rocks, Jealous Jess and Candy Secret. Hes a Bugin was scratched.