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© Kira Crook
OGDEN, UTóMAY 24, 2020óIn the first of two regional AQHA Challenge qualifiers, Loco Ocho broke sharply and extended her lead to nearly a length to win the $27,676 ARC Weber Downs Distaff Challenge.
The 400-yard event was restricted to Challenge-enrolled fillies and mares. Due to complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Weber Downs agreed to host the regional ARC Distaff Challenge and Adequan Derby Challenge qualifiers that had originally been scheduled at Sun Downs.
Loco Ocho and jockey Jesus Valenzuela hit the wire in 19.956 and earned a 105 speed index in the victory, the fillyís first start of 2020. Trained by Garth Blatner, the 4-year-old daughter of The Louisiana Cartel has six wins in 12 starts throughout the Intermountain region and finished third in the Pocatello Downs Distaff Challenge last fall.
Les and Darla Barlow own and bred the filly in Idaho, out of Sign of Pride, by First Wrangler. Sign of Pride was a multiple stakes winner who qualified for the AQHA Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos in 2005.
Shesa Dashair chased the winner and finished in second place, earning a 103 speed index in the process. Ridden by Jose Lopez for trainer Ricardo Mariles-Santos, the 4-year-old filly has five wins in 15 starts and has finished in the top two in her last six starts.
Ricardo Mariles owns the Dashair filly, who was bred in Oklahoma by Dee and Betty Raper, out of the Bully Bullion mare Shesaspeedin Bullet.
Favorite Bling was bumped at the break but rallied for a tight third-place finish. Favorite Bling is an accomplished 5-year-old mare with over $72,000 in earnings and multiple stakes wins. She qualified for the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) at Los Alamitos in 2018 and the ARC Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) at Albuquerque in 2019.
Jesus Canales had the call on Favorite Bling for trainer Jose Rosales Gomez and owner Juan Morales Garcia. Donald and Peggy Boyle bred the mare in Oregon by Favorite Cartel, out of Spring Bling, by Hawkinson.
Video replays of each race are available on the Utah Quarter Horse Association Racing YouTube channel.
Completing the field were Secret Noble, Look Secret, Royallittlewagon, Vino Bello, She Zooms and Candelaria.