Challenge


Burgart Blog: Idaho, Arizona, Alberta Challenge Races
Letís tour North America and handicap some Bank of America Racing Challenge stakes.

© Scot Martinez
Burgart Blog: Idaho, Arizona, Alberta Challenge Races

AMARILLO, TX—JULY 28, 2022—Track specialist The Prize Ferarri looms dangerous in Friday's $56,287 Bank of America Pocatello Championship Challenge at Pocatello Downs, while well-bred Southwesterly carries the favorite's role in Saturday's $60,000 John Deere Arizona Juvenile Challenge at Arizona Downs.

Then on Sunday, Professor Gee brings the fastest qualifying time into the $30,000-added John Deere Evergreen Juvenile Challenge at Grande Prairie.

The winners of the aforementioned races earn berths to their respective finals on Bank of America Challenge Championships night on October 22 at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Now, let's take a handicapping approach to this weekend's regional finals.

Bank of America Pocatello Challenge Championship

With 11 victories from 17 starts and five wins over the Pocatello Downs surface over the past 14 months, The Prize Ferarri certainly is the horse to beat in the 440-yard final.

The Prize Ferarri scored a neck win over FDD Swingin Dynasty in a :21.45 trial victory, which is the fastest qualifying time of the 10 finalists. He was fourth in the last year's Adequan® Derby Challenge Championship (G3) in Albuquerque behind talented winner JC Wild King, who won this year’s Mighty Deck Three Stakes (G2) and was second in the Mr Jet Moore Stakes and third in the Dee Raper Sooner State Stakes (RG1) at Remington Park.

Breaking from Post 9 on Friday, The Prize Ferarri should get his biggest challenges from his neighbors FDD Swingin Dynasty in Post 10 and Dr Tool in Post 8. FDD Swingin Dynasty is the defending champion who has six wins from 16 starts, while Dr Tool has shown signs of brilliance at times.

In the 2020 Adequan® Derby Challenge Championship (G3) finals, he was a neck behind winner Jess My Hocks, who since has won both the 2021 and 2022 Leo Stakes (G1) at Remington Park.

John Deere Arizona Juvenile Challenge

Southwesterly is the deserving 7-5 morning-line favorite, but I expect Mister Jim to outrun his 15-1 morning-line odds in the 350-yard finals.

Southwesterly was visually impressive when scoring a length win from the rail post in her trial debut victory while posting the fastest qualifying time of :17.85. She is a Favorite Cartel offspring out of Separate Tac, a mare who has dropped 16 winners that include full brother, the 2019 Governor's Cup Futurity (RG2) victor Pitbull.

But in the same trial, Mister Jim had a very rough trip when finishing a better-than-looked third while 2 3/4 lengths behind Southwesterly. After stumbling and getting bumped twice early, Mister Jim was then floated in off the heels of runner-up Prince Shasta before leveling too late.

Ms Flaming Flash, winner of the Crush The Curve Futurity at Pocatello Downs, is another threat. She lugged in throughout from an outside post when scoring a half-length trial win and is quick from the gate.    

John Deere Evergreen Juvenile Challenge

Professor Gee is an expected short-priced favorite based on an impressive 2-length trial win in the fastest qualifying time of :18.41. It was his second straight daylight win after a troubled fifth-place debut at Los Alamitos last March when he missed the break by more than a length before finishing full of run after altering course early.

Outside contender is Noble Rearing, who has finished second versus Professor Gee and O Seeyalater in his last two outs. He previously dead-heated for third at Los Alamitos in a maiden race won by talented Muy Bien Corona, who since finished third in the Kindergarten Futurity (G2).

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