Burgart Blog: Arizona Challenge Stakes
Get expert handicapping help to distinguish the distaffers starring at Arizona Downs.

Los Alamitos Race Course
Burgart Blog: Arizona Challenge Stakes

By Ed Burgart

First Lady Perry, an Arizona Downs course and distance specialist, looms the horse to beat and is this writer's choice to capture Saturday afternoon's $40,000 Q-Racing Video Arizona Distaff Challenge.

Breaking from Post 3 in the 11-horse field, First Lady Perry gets my nod over Republic Anne in the 400-yard dash. Elegant Tres, Too Sass For You, ABC Nalaki and Garavani are longshots to watch and horses worth using in exotic wagers such as trifectas and superfectas.

The race’s winner earns a berth to the Q-Racing Video Distaff Challenge Championships (G1) on Bank of America Challenge Championships night October 22 at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Let's take a brief look at each horse in post-position order for Saturday's Q-Racing Video Arizona Distaff Challenge.

  1. Run Away And Hide was 2 3/4 lengths behind First Lady Perry in their last Arizona Downs allowance confrontation and has only one win from six starts. She is hard to endorse.
  2. World Famous Mia was fifth in last year's PCQHRA Breeders Futurity (G2) at Los Alamitos but has lacked closing punches at shorter distances in California this year. Her best effort this year was a third-place allowance finish at 300 yards, and her ability to perform her best at 400 yards is questionable.
  3. First Lady Perry fits every handicapping angle I use. She is classy, as evidenced by her $118,481 bankroll, which is tops in the field. She relishes Arizona Downs, where she has four wins and three seconds from eight starts. She is a 400-yard specialist, where she has posted five wins and two seconds from nine starts. Plus, she defeated five of her 10 competitors with a handy three-quarter-length win three weeks ago.
  4. ABC Nalaki is much better than her last three Arizona Downs starts indicate. She stumbled and was bumped from both sides at the start of her last seventh-place allowance finish when the 9-5 favorite. She was also off poorly in her two prior outs and won last year's Arizona Downs Futurity.
  5. Jess Zoomin Senator was less than 1 length behind First Lady Perry in her last runner-up try at 350 yards but has not fared well in three prior 400-yard outs when finishing out of the money.
  6. Lew Lew Belle also seems more effective at shorter distances. Her two wins came at 300 yards.
  7. Abbyslovintherain was bumped steadily soon after the start of her last seventh-place try versus First Lady Perry, but is winless over the past two years. She also has only one lifetime victory.
  8. Elegant Tres is another who seems more effective at shorter distances. But she is still worth using in exotics wagering based on the company she has faced this year. She was bumped back steadily at the start of her last seventh-place Albuquerque start, and was fourth in Ruidoso two outs ago versus Toxic Relationship, who since won an All American Oaks (G1) trial and was the fastest qualifier.
  9. Republic Anne defeated First Lady Perry in a 440-yard stakes last year and was only a neck behind Valentin JQM in her last start. Valentin JQM has since won the Mingus Mountain Stakes at Arizona Downs. She is First Lady Perry's biggest threat.
  10. Too Sass For You moves from the rail to Post 10 after finishing 2 lengths behind First Lady Perry in her last out. She is one of four entrants with a win at 400 yards and is a must-use in the exotics.
  11. Garavani switches to the far outside after bobbling, losing her path and altering course in her last seventh-place start. She has shown ability at times, having posted three wins and five seconds from 16 starts. She certainly can be involved in the trifecta and superfecta with clear sailing.

From a wagering standpoint, I like First Lady Perry to win and would use her in exotics with Republic Anne, Too Sass For You, ABC Nalaki and Garavani.

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