Fire Cowboy Earns First Stakes Victory in $130,625 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship
Fire Cowboy, piloted by Jose Herbert, wins the 130,625 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park on Saturday.

Fire Cowboy Earns First Stakes Victory in $130,625 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – OCTOBER 21, 2023 – Fire Cowboy, a sorrel son of the Apollitical Jess stallion Flying Cowboy 123 racing for Emmanuel Villarreal, scored his first career stakes win in Saturday's $130,625 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) for 2-year-olds at Lone Star Park.

Ridden by Jose Herbert for trainer Juan Diaz Jr. and sent to post at odds of 7-1, Fire Cowboy covered 350 yards in :17.535 while defeating 15-1 longshot Jc Wild Queen by three-quarters of a length. The gelding posted a 98 speed index and the $61,394 winner's share of the purse.

Fire Cowboy was bred in Texas by Edward and Von Zae McNelis, and he was coming off of a neck victory in a 350-yard non-winners-of-two allowance dash at Retama Park on September 1. The gelding is out of Perky, a winning California-bred daughter of the First Down Dash stallion Walk Thru Fire. His second dam, the Corona Cartel mare Moonlight Corona, was a multiple stakes winner in California from 2008-09.

The winning connections of Fire Cowboy accept the John Deere Juvenile Championship trophies and blanket at Lone Star Park. © Dustin Orona Photography

Fire Cowboy qualified for this stake with a second-place finish, a half of a length behind winner Stormguard, in the June 16, $123,000 John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge (G3). The gelding has won three of six races and has earned $103,603.

Jose Cervantes’ homebred Jc Wild Queen was second by a head with Everardo Rodriguez in the irons. Santos Carrizales, Jr. trains the Apollitical Jess filly, who has $61,200 and one win from seven lifetime starts.

Jc Wild Queen was bred in Oklahoma out of the graded stakes placed mare Oh Cherokee Rose, by Stoli. She finished second in the Will Rogers John Deere Juvenile Stakes on October 1 to qualify for Saturday’s Challenge Championships.

Mv Royal Pappasito and Francisco Calderon completed the trifecta for trainer Monty Arrossa. The Pappasito gelding is a Utah homebred for Andrea and Eddie Jensen and is out of the Foose mare Royal Fooseperrypie.

In nine starts, Mv Royal Pappasito has two wins and $45,374 in earnings. He was second in the Los Alamitos John Deere Juvenile Challenge in August and qualified to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity (G2) this fall.

Jess Folzookieing was fourth, followed by 7-10 favorite JT True Grit, Vodka From Texas, Dr B, Cartel Night, and Acapulco Bay. Stormguard was scratched.

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