Challenge


Dance The Dust Off Wins $107,878 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1)
Dance The Dust Off, ridden by Nakia Teeter, wins the $107,878 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1) at Horseshoe Indianapolis on Saturday night.

Coady Photography
Dance The Dust Off Wins $107,878 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1)

SHELBYVILLE, IN–OCTOBER 22, 2022–Dance the Dust Off and Nakia Teeter rallied from behind to score the upset in the first of five Graded Stakes during the AQHA Challenge Championships. The duo earned the win in the Grade 1 $107,878 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Starting from post three Dance the Dust Off broke well, but it was Nicos First Cartel and Jansen Melancon from the inside who got the first call in the 870-yard event around one turn. It didn’t take long for race favorite and former winner of the Cox Ranch Distance Challenge to take over as Wascallywittlewabbit and Benito Baca had the lead before the field of seven reached the turn. Wascallywittlewabbit slid over to the inside path and was well in command heading into the stretch.

At the top of the lane, Shockinglyfamous and Cody Wainscott joined Wascallywittlewabbit on the lead and the two went to battle. They were stride for stride all the way down the stretch. Dance the Dust Off, who had followed Nicos First Cartel around the turn, tipped to the outside for the stretch drive and had a clear shot at the finish line in the center of the track. Nicos First Cartel was also closing in between Dance the Dust Off and the top pair Wascallywittlewabbit and Shockinglyfamous. Dance the Dust Off went right on by to capture the win and the graded stakes status, one-half length over Nicos First Cartel. Shockinglyfamous finished a neck back in third in the four-way photo finish.

The winning connections of Dance The Dust Off accept the Grade 1 $107,878 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship Trophy at Horseshoe Indianapolis Saturday night. © Coady Photography

Dance the Dust Off was the second longest shot on the board, paying $39.20 for the win. The six-year-old son of Coronas Blackdiamond is owned by Jewell Ramirez and trained by Clay Teeter, Nakia’s husband.

“He put in a big race,” said Clay. “He hadn’t raced in about three moths before his last start and we were hoping it would be a big prep for this race, and it was.”

The Teeters have had the gelding since he started his career. The win was by far his biggest score. It also marked the fifth track he’s earned a win on in nine career trips to the winner’s circle. He increased his career bankroll to more than $150,000 with the win in the Cox Ranch Distance Challenge. The win for the Teeters was very emotional, especially for Nakia, who was hugging the horse’s neck all the way back to the winner’s circle.

“He’s come such a long way,” said Nakia. “He was a $3,500 horse from the Heritage Place yearling sale, and I’ve been there with him every step of the way. In these distance races it’s a lot about what Quarter Horse breaks the best and who can finish. He finished like a Thoroughbred and has one of the best kicks of a Quarter Horse I’ve ever seen. This is so amazing.”

Nakia spends a lot of time aboard Dance the Dust Off to prepare him for his races. She has a great bond with the gelding, who is the top horse she has ridden so far in her career. 

Dance The Dust Off and his winning connections celebrating after winning the Grade 1 $107,878 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship at Horseshoe Indianapolis Saturday night. © Coady Photography

“When I galloped him on Saturday, he was pulling hard and I could tell he was ready for today,” said Nakia. “He usually breaks really well and if he can get up after four or five jumps, he usually can finish it out.”

Runner-up Nicos First Cartel just came off a win on September 17th in the Downs at Albuquerque Distance Challenge. The six-year-old gelding trained by Jesus Carrete has six career wins with $167,724 in lifetime earnings.

Bred by Fernando Candles of Arizona, Nicos First Cartel is out of Cartel Moon by Royal Cartel. The son of First Prize Perry is owned by Erica Carreon.

Third place finisher Shockinglyfamous has won five stakes races, two of them in 2022, including the Will Rogers Distance Challenge Stakes (G3) and the Jesse Yoakum Memorial 870 Stakes. The six-year-old horse has nine career wins with $288,218 in the bank.

Bred by Clarence Scharbauer, III of Texas, Shockinglyfamous is owned by Stone Chase Stables, LLC and Kasey Willis who also trains him. The son of One Famous Eagle is out of Shocktime by Langfuhr.

The remaining order of finish is Wascallywittlewabbit, Hi High Hopes, Cold Brewster and Roc Starr. Paul Me Dashetta was scratched by the veterinarian.

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The 20th season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Wednesday, Nov. 23. Live racing is conducted at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with Thursday post times set for 2:10 p.m. A total of 12 Saturdays will feature live racing in 2022 highlighted by the 28th running of the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby and the 27th running of the Grade 3 $200,000 Indiana Oaks set for Saturday, July 9. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis.

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