The Grand Legend Earns First Grade 1 Win in $104,500 Cox Distance Challenge Championship
The Grand Legend, ridden by Noe Villatoro, wins the $104,500 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1) at Lone Star Park on Saturday.

Dustin Orona Photography/Lone Star Park
The Grand Legend Earns First Grade 1 Win in $104,500 Cox Distance Challenge Championship

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – OCTOBER 21, 2023 – The Grand Legend, a 7-year-old son of the FDD Dynasty stallion FDD Going Grand racing for James C. Whitener LLC, earned his first career Grade 1 victory in Saturday's 870-yard, $104,500 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1) at Lone Star Park.

Prepped by Adan Guzman and sent to post at odds of 8-5 in the full field of eight, The Grand Legend covered 870 yards in :45.121 while recording a 103 speed index, and his margin of victory was a clear five lengths from 6-5 favorite O Donovan Rossa. Noe Villatoro rode the sorrel gelding.

The Grand Legend was bred in Texas by Mercy Hinklin's Horse Farm LLC, and he qualified to this race with a wire-to-wire, 6 3/4-length win in the September 29, $25,000 AQHA Lone Star Distance Challenge (G3). Raced in two states, including Oklahoma, The Grand Legend has won 10 of 32 starts -- including six of nine at the 870 trip -- and the $50,160 winner's share of the purse from his third lifetime stakes win increased his earnings to $216,878, of which $126,343 has been banked from his 870 races.

Bill Melson of Cox Ranch presents the winning connections of The Grand Legend the Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship trophy at Lone Star Park.
© Dustin Orona Photography

The Grand Legend's stakes resume includes a three-quarter length victory in the 2018 Heritage Place Juvenile Stakes for 2-year-olds at Remington Park.

Bryan Candanosa was aboard runner-up O Donovan Rossa for trainer Dee Keener and owner Kelly Yother Equine, LLC. The 5-year-old Apollitical Jess gelding was bred in Oklahoma by J. Garvan Kelly, out of the Country Chicks Man mare Shanachee.

The multiple graded stakes winner has earned $266,606 in 32 career starts and has ten wins, including the Will Rogers Distance Challenge (G3) and the Pauls Valley Stakes (G2) at Remington.

Volcoms Favorite finished a head behind O Donovan Rossa in third place. Bobby Dow was in the irons for trainer James Gonzalez, III and owner Nove Racing, LLC.

George Mitchell, II bred the Jess Good Candy gelding in Oklahoma out of Volcoms Delight, by Volcom. The 4-year-old has won three races and earned $85,013 in 15 career starts. He was second in his first graded stakes start, the Downs at Albuquerque Distance Challenge (G2) in September.

Completing the field were Dak, Jess Rite, Dance The Dust Off, The Dream, and Stolin Train.

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