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© Dustin Orona Photography
BY MICHAEL CUSORTELLI
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK-—APRIL9, 2020—Ms Esther, a 6-year-old daughter of Afrashad (TB) owned and trained by Jordan Baumann, is one of 10 distance specialists entered in Saturday’s 870-yard AQHA Remington Distance Challenge (G2) trials at Remington Park.
Ms Esther is coming off of a fourth-place finish, 4 1/4 lengths behind winner Let There Be Sound, in the 870-yard Pauls Valley Stakes (G3) on April 2. All told, the mare has won eight of 15 starts -- including seven of 12 at the 870 distance -- and she has earned $162,187.
Ms Esther won two 870-yard stakes during the 2019 Remington meet and ran second in the 870-yard, $104,500 AQHA Distance Challenge Championship (G1) at Albuquerque Downs on October 26. The mare drew the rail post and will be ridden by Benito Baca in the second of two trials.
Ms Esther’s four opponents in the first heat include Madewell, a homebred 6-year-old Jess Jones gelding trained by Bernard Baca for owners Ray Madewell and Davy Madewell. Madewell will be making his season debut off of a 5-year-old campaign during which he banked $82,188 from eight outs and scored a half-length victory in the 870-yard, $50,000 Remington Distance Championship (G2) on closing day of the 2019 meet.
Madewell drew post 5 and will be ridden by Stormy Smith.
Coming off a win in the Covered Wagon Stakes(G3) at Prairie Meadows last fall, The Louisiana Dream will face five rivals in the second trial (race 3). Manuel Campos will saddle the son of champion sire The Louisiana Cartel for owners Denise and Ronald Van Amburgh and Hugo Sierra Barron.
J.E. Jumonville bred the 6-year-old gelding in Louisiana from the Apollo (TB) mare In His Dreams. Francisco Giles has been named to ride the $42,598 earner from the inside post-position.
No stranger to the Challenge Distance series Rockin J Running Horses' multiple graded stakes winner Jess A Hilbily Bone. The 9-year-old son of multiple stakes sire Rock Solid Jess. Tammy Kay Johnson conditions the Texas homebred of more than $223,700.
Over his 8-year career he has competed in at least five Distance Challenge regional finals including finish third in the Remington Park Distance Challenge in 2015. Travis Cunningham will ride from post 4.
The eight fastest qualifiers from Saturday’s trials will meet in the April 26, $40,000-est. AQHA Remington Distance Challenge final.
All Remington Park races can be seen at Q-RacingVideo.com.