Challenge


Fastest Qualifier Runaway Witch Returns to Win $79,569 Adequan Arizona Downs Derby Challenge
Runaway Witch, under jockey Jacob Enriquez, drives to victory in the $79,569 Adequan Arizona Downs Derby Challenge on Saturday.

Coady Photography
Fastest Qualifier Runaway Witch Returns to Win $79,569 Adequan Arizona Downs Derby Challenge

PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ – JULY 16, 2022 – The top three fastest qualifiers to the $79,569 Adequan Arizona Downs Derby Challenge returned on Saturday to complete the winning trifecta in the final, led by fastest qualifier Runaway Witch.

Runaway Witch ($4.00) was the even-money favorite heading into gate for her third consecutive win. Jockey Jacob Enriquez broke sharply out of the gate and took an immediate lead; they won by one and three-quarters of a length. The final time of :19.461 for the 400-yard race earned a 109 speed index and the top four finishers each earned a speed index of 100 or greater.

Armando Alamos trains Runaway Witch for owner LG Racing LLC. Tyler Graham and Robert Touchet bred the 3-year-old filly in Louisiana, by Sir Runaway Dash and out of Im a Lil Witch, by Game Patriot.

AQRA Executive Director Loretta Brasher presents the winning connections of Runaway Witch the Adequan Arizona Derby Challenge stakes trophy. © Coady Photography

Prior to her trial, Runaway Witch finished second in the Las Animas Stakes at Sunray in May but was placed first via a post-race disqualification of the winner. She won last year’s edition of the Bitterroot Futurity (RG3) at Pocatello, finished second in the La Fiesta Futurity at Albuquerque, and qualified to the Beehive Futurity at Laurel Brown.

The well-traveled filly is now seven for 14 lifetime with $202,248 earned, including Saturday’s check for $36,601.

Itsjustamatteroftime finished second in the final after winning his trial as the third fastest qualifier.

Martin Osuna was in the irons for trainer Orlando Guerrero and owner Juvencio Canales. He was bred in Oklahoma by Reliance Ranches, by Big Lew and out of Spoiled Jess, by Feature Mr Jess.

Itsjustamatteroftime is two for 12 lifetime and has earned $36,983 with starts at Ruidoso and Remington in addition to Arizona Downs and Turf Paradise.

Cartels Courage finished second to Runaway Witch in their trial as the second fastest qualifier and was a head behind Itsjustamatteroftime to finish third.

Agustin Silva rode the Coronado Cartel gelding in both the trial and the final. Jesus Carrete trains for owner Hector O’Campo; Flag Ranch LLC bred the gelding in Oklahoma out of Tinys Courage, by Captain Courage.

Cartels Courage has banked $89,706 in his 14 career races, including five victories. Earlier this year, he won the Ferrari Racing Stables Rillito Derby and the Turf Paradise Maiden Stakes as part of a four-race win streak.

Completing the field were Uncle Shine, My Game Plan, Hp Just a Star, Bh Free Drop Billy, Eyemoutahere, Abc Nalaki and Wagon Coast. Veltri (also-eligible) was scratched.