Burgart Blog: Minnesota, Arizona Challenge Races
Before you place your bets, get some handicapping tips on these Bank of America Racing Challenge races.

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Burgart Blog: Minnesota, Arizona Challenge Races

By Ed Burgart

SHAKOPEE, MN–JULY 14, 2022–Danjer, the 2021 world champion, is among many talented Quarter Horses who are trying to secure berths in three Bank of America Racing Challenge regional finals this Thursday at Canterbury Park.

Danjer, the defending Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) winner, is a clear class standout in the $50,000 Bank of America Canterbury Championship Challenge (G3).

Other Canterbury Park regional races, which secure the winners berths to their respective finals at Horseshoe Indianapolis on October 22, are the AQHA Canterbury Distance Challenge and the Q-Racing Canterbury Distaff Challenge (G3).

Then on Saturday, sophomores headed by troubled trial winner Runaway Witch, look to gain a berth to the Adequan® Arizona Derby Challenge finals when competing in the $60,000 regional finals at Arizona Downs.

Here is a brief look at the horses to watch in the aforementioned four races.

AQHA Canterbury Distance Challenge

Cold Brewster looks hard to deny, while the veteran runner Faster Than Hasta has plenty of past class.

Cold Brewster had a successful 2022 Remington Park campaign, having won two of his last three starts at 870 yards. In his most recent fifth-place finish in the Remington Park Distance Championship (G1), he never looked comfortable when saving ground on the far turn while tossing his head up to avoid dirt kickback. The winner was Wascallywittlewabbit, victorious in the Grade 1 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship last year and the eventual champion distance horse.

Although he may have lost a few steps now that he is 8 years old, Faster Than Hasta still must be respected. He has lifetime earnings of $247,629 and was second from an outside post after pressing the pace in his first 2022 start two outs ago at Energy Downs.

Q-Racing Canterbury Park Distaff Challenge

Lynnder 16, the 2020 Q-Racing Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) winner, is the horse to beat from Post 9, while Apollitical J Julia from Post 1 and Apollitical Mogul from Post 6 are the top threats in the 400-yard race.

Lynnder 16 has won 15 of 31 lifetime starts and was a sharp second in the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap in her last start at Los Alamitos six months ago. The layoff shouldn't cause any issues for the 6-year-old mare who won at Canterbury Park after a similar layoff last year. Also, Lynnder 16 is undefeated in three Canterbury Park outs.

Apollitical J Julia has a great chance to win based on her current sharp races at Remington Park where she captured two of her last three outs. Her defeat two outs back was a strong runner-up try in the Decketta Stakes (G2) behind A Dash Of Sign, who won the 2021 Southern California Derby (G2) at Los Alamitos.

Graded stakes winner Apollitical Mogul, who hasn't started since December, won a Canterbury Park allowance after a seven-month layoff last year, and has been no worse than third in 10 tries at Canterbury.

Bank of America Canterbury Championship Challenge

Unless he makes a major mistake, Danjer should romp from his rail post. He won the Grade 1 Remington Park Championship by 1 3/4 lengths six weeks ago and captured this race by 2 1/4 lengths over Juice Is Loose in 2021.

Juice Is Loose and Apollitical Hero are the likely exacta partners. Juice Is Loose most recently ran hard when dead-heating for second in the Boyd Morris Memorial (RG2) at Remington Park.

Apollitical Hero was third in the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) last year and was fifth in the Southern California Derby won by A Dash Of Sign, who was victorious in this year's Decketta Stakes.

Adequan® Arizona Derby Challenge

Runaway Witch, Cartels Courage and My Game Plan are the ones to watch after troubled trips in their trial races for this race at Arizona Downs.

Runaway Witch didn't break alertly, was pushed inward early and then was caught behind a loose horse past the 1/8-pole in an impressive head trial victory.

Cartels Courage was only a head behind Runaway Witch while also compromised by a loose horse that had stumbled and lost its rider leaving the gate.

My Game Plan had a much-troubled trip when beaten by a half length in a fourth-place trial. He dropped more than 1 1/2 lengths behind the leaders early after stumbling when the ground broke out from under him. He then rallied with determination despite lugging in badly during the final 1/16.

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