Challenge


Burgart Blog: California, Alberta Challenge Stakes
Four Challenge races are on tap this weekend get handicapping help before the races.

Los Alamitos Race Course
Burgart Blog: California, Alberta Challenge Stakes

By Ed Burgart

AMARILLO, TX—AUGUST 6, 2022—Having proven he can win at 440 yards, Speed Dynasty is this handicapper's choice to capture Saturday's $43,384 Bank of America Los Alamitos Championship Challenge (G2), one of four regional Challenge races this weekend featured at Los Alamitos Race Course in California and Evergreen Park in Alberta.

Other races in which the winners earn berths to their respective finals on Bank of America Challenge Championship night October 22 at Horseshoe Indianapolis include Sunday’s Q-Racing Video Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge at Los Alamitos, the $44,132 Bank of America Evergreen Championship Challenge and the $35,136 Adequan® Evergreen Derby Challenge.

Let's now look at the top contenders in each of the four regional Challenge finals.

Bank of America Los Alamitos Championship Challenge

From his outside post where he figures to have a clean trip, Speed Dynasty should out-finish Tres Coronas in the final 110 yards.

Having won an All American Futurity trial at 440 yards in 2020, Speed Dynasty is the only entrant with a quarter mile victory. In addition, he out-finished Tres Coronas by a neck in a 350-yard gate drill at Los Alamitos July 12. After breaking a half-length in front, Tres Coronas was unable to contain Speed Dynasty during the final 1/16 and seems vulnerable at 440 yards.

Speed Dynasty also holds a class advantage, having compiled lifetime earnings of $183,387 in comparison to the $32,704 earnings of Tres Coronas, who is coming off a career high 87 Equibase speed figure in a 1 1/2-length victory over 350 yards at Remington Park in a 22 mph tail-wind aided :17.28 victory.

Q-Racing Video Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge

In what appears to be the most competitive of this weekend's four regional races, the 400-yard dash has four horses with winning chances. Jet Wings One, Famous Shining Star, Jess Fortunate and In My Heart all have strong credentials for victory.

My tepid selection is Famous Shining Star, who most recently finished second in the Abigail Kawananakoa Stakes behind champion Kiss Thru Fire, who since captured the California Breeders Matron Stakes (RG3) and earlier this year won the Charger Bar Handicap (G1). Famous Shining Star drew Post 2 and is outside the quick-breaking Jet Wings One, who last captured the Miss Princess Handicap in early May. Jet Wings One has been most effective at shorter distances, although she did score a nose win in the Adequan® Los Alamitos Derby Challenge last year at 400 yards.

In My Heart comes off a half-length win versus weaker company in the Check Her Twice Handicap when beating La Beverly Hills, who since ran second in the California Debutante Stakes.

Jess Fortunate rallied to nose out Famous Shining Star in her last start, which came seven months ago.

Bank of America Evergreen Championship Challenge

Hortons Real Deal, Rowdysvision and Flight Club have the best credentials for victory.

Judging by his fondness for Grande Prairie’s surface, I like the chances of Hortons Real Deal. He recently dropped a head decision to Rowdysvision in an allowance at Century Mile, but scored two wins in two Evergreen outs last year where he posted a 2-length victory and a 3 3/4-length triumph. He also won last year's Alberta Bred Derby at Century Mile, defeating Eyesa Timber, the winner of the 2020 Canadian Cup Futurity.

Rowdysvision has been no worse than third in five 2022 starts and dropped a neck decision in a 440-yard allowance at Turf Paradise last April.

Flight Club was third against Rowdysvision in his last start, but beat the same foe three times over the prior 13 months and is nicely drawn on the outside.

Adequan® Evergreen Derby Challenge

Interes Fino, Wave Burner and Destello De Luna are my horses to watch in this 400-yard dash.

My selection is Destello De Luna, winner of last year’s Alberta-Bred Futurity at Century Mile and the Canadian champion, who breaks from the outside post.

Most recently, he had the rail post in a 10-horse field at 110 yards when third while a neck behind runner-up Obsessed Bug, who since captured the Grande Prairie Sprint Stakes.

Interes Fino breaks from the rail post and beat a softer field by three-quarters of a length in his last win over I Getit, who previously ran fourth in a Century Mile allowance race.

Wave Burner won last year's Canadian Cup Futurity at Century Mile and was third in his last 110-yard outing versus winner Obsessed Bug, a three-time lifetime victor.

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