Handicapping Contests Continue; News from the Racing World

The Countdown to the Cup Handicapping Contest continues this Saturday. The races from Keeneland will be used for the contest. Entry deadline is first post at the Lexington, KY racetrack. The Lexus Raven Run (G2) has the largest purse on the card. Restricted to 3-year-old fillies and run at 7 furlongs, it will offer $250,000.

Canchari wins at Keeneland

Jockey Alex Canchari scored his first win in Kentucky after leaving the Canterbury meet in early September. The victory came on Sunday at Keeneland in the opening event of the day on a longshot. Read more about it here.

Last chance to qualify for Hawthorne Challenge Satellite

The final session of super satellite contest that qualify players to the Oct. 28 Hawthorne Challenge Satellite Handicapping Contest  will be held Thursday through Saturday. Entry is $10 per day. Information here.

Super satellites for the Horse Player World Series Satellite begin Oct. 26.

Canterbury Qs Win In Iowa

A Jordon Reed, winner of the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, won the $289,830 Valley Junction Futurity at Prairie Meadows for trainer Canterbury Park Hall of Fame trainer Ed Ross Hardy. The 2-year-old is owned by Kendrix Brothers and was ridden by Oscar Delgado. A Jordon Reed was the fastest qualifier to the futurity and on Saturday won by a length as the betting favorite, returning $4.80.

A Jordon Reed wins Valley Junction. Coady Photography

The Fiscal Cliff won the $345,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship, the final race of the Prairie Meadows quarter horse meet. The Fiscal Cliff won twice at Canterbury in 2017 and was voted Quarter Horse of the Meet.

The Fiscal Cliff wins BOA Challenge Championship. Photo: Coady Photography

More from AQHA publicity:

Bank of America Challenge Championships
The American Quarter Horse Association, October 17, 2017 – The 25th running of the Bank of America Challenge Championships took place at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa, on October 14, and saw a hometown hero conquer the biggest event of the night.

Iowa-bred stallion The Fiscal Cliff romped to a three-quarter-length victory in the $330,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) for Iowa City, Iowa-based owner and breeder Tom Lepic.

This is the third time the championship event has been hosted at Prairie Meadows, and it featured horses from all over North America. The horses must earn invitations to the event by placings in regional race competition.

The Fiscal Cliff is a 4-year-old son of PYC Paint Your Wagon out of the Shazoom mare Signs Zoomer. He qualified for the race by winning the July 4 Bank of America Canterbury Championship Challenge. He cruised 440 yards in this race, over a sloppy track, to win in :21.297 for trainer Kasey Willis and jockey Benito Baca.

“Thank you so much, AQHA,” said Lepic after the race. “Thank you for being in Iowa, thank you so much for letting us run on our home turf.

“He’s going to California for the Champion of Champions (at Los Alamitos Race Course),” Lepic added. “To have an Iowa-bred do this, on his own turf in this kind of conditions, is unbelievable.”

Baca is the program’s year-end high-point jockey.

“It was a dream trip,” he said. “He stepped away and all I had to do was hold on the whole 440. He’s an awesome horse to ride.”

The Fiscal Cliff has earned $564,875 in his career, while winning 13 of 23 career starts.

Horses competing in the Challenge Championships underwent and passed hair testing.

“This is evidence that AQHA’s stance on integrity is effective, and a high percentage of horsemen wish to abide by our rules,” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber.

Other winners on Challenge Championship night include:

Dauns First Desirio, winner of the $180,000 Adequan® Derby Challenge Championship (G3) for owner Rogelio Carbajal Santos of Thornton, Colorado; trainer Julio Corral and jockey Cesar Gomez. The gelding by Desirio is out of the First Down Express mare First Daun Express, and was bred by Dan and Jolene Urschel.

Jess Paint Your Lips, winner of the $105,000 Boehringer Ingelheim Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) for owner and breeder Michael Pohl of Colorado Springs, Colorado; trainer Stacy Charette-Hill and jockey Jorge Torres. The 4-year-old mare is by Jess Louisiana Blue and out of the Corona Cartel mare Paint Your Lips.

Carris Cartel, winner of the $131,300 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) for owner and breeder Nancy Carrizales of Harlingen, Texas; and trainer Edelmiro Carrizales and jockey Santos Carrizales. The filly is by The Louisiana Cartel and out of the Strawfly Special mare Shesa Wicked Gypsy.

Zoomin Racer, winner of the $105,000 AQHA Distance Challenge Championship (G1) for owner and trainer Fernando Carrete of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and jockey Ricky Ramirez. The 4-year-old gelding was bred by AQHA Past President Jerry Windham and is by Jess Zoomin and out of the Runaway Winner mare Racing Winner.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.



You can take this straight from the horse’s mouth.

The Hot Shot Kid is back.

Not only did he win the $50,000 Victor S. Myers Stakes on Tuesday, he was on the winner’s back.

In plain English, Alex Canchari is back and he can thank the Hot Shot Kid for that return.

Is there a better headline for this one: The Hot Shot Kid rides Hot Shot Kid to the winner’s circle.

Granted there are some qualifications.   Canchari, for one, has been back riding several days after suffering a fracture to his right hand. “The doctor called it a boxer’s fracture,” he explained. But Tuesdya’s win, with only partial use of his right hand, perhaps was testament that the fire is back in the belly regardless of the slow healing process.

He might not feel as it he’s entirely back physically but a stakes win like that on Tuesday will do wonders for the state of mind.

Trainer Mac Robertson was singing Canchari’s praises afterward. “This horse just seems to like him,” he said. “They have a connection.”

Canchari still has trouble with the whip in the right hand, but he now has the next several days to continue healing during the recess in racing at Canterbury.

“That will help a lot,” he said.

As for a special relationship with the Hot Shot Kid….”I’ve always gotten along with him. He’s the best horse I’ve been on here….. ever. He does it all so easily. A real pro.”

Hot Shot Kid was on or within a length of the lead the entire

As they say in the riders’ parlance, “he’s a push-button  horse.”

Canchari rode his horse as if it were a Porsche running against VWs and he used a finishing kick to finish 2 ¾ lengths in front of Fridaynitestar and 6 ¼ ahead of Fireman Oscar, in a winning time of 57:60.

The winner is by Majestic Warrior from Our Sweet Mary and is owner by Warren Bush, who is also the breeder.


Xerxes Avenue


Sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men….have to be readjusted entirely.

That was certainly the case in this race, in which Gary Scherer sent out two horses, Xerxes Avenue and Ryan and Madison,  convinced that the latter would take the lead.

“I expected her to be up their testing the lead,” Scherer said.

Ah, one factor unaccounted for: Xerxes got away from the gate smoothly and effortlessly and went straight to the lead, where Nik Goodwin let him lead the way to a front-running gate-to-wire performance.

It’s been a grand summer for  Goodwin, who rode his 1,000th thoroughbred winner earlier this month and will set the all-time record for quarter horse winners with his next trip to the winner’s circle with that breed.

Upon entering the winner’s circle and claiming a spot, a bystander mentioned that he could have won the race on the winner’s back.  “Yeah, if they announced you at 45 pounds over,” came the rejoinder from a nearby acquaintance.

In any event, Goodwin took what was given him and turned it into a victory for himself, Scherer and owner Jeff Drown.

“She just broke so well and ran so easily,” Goodwin said. ”

Scherer’s attitude under the circumstances might best be described as one of acceptance.  Something such as “good thing you did what you wanted instead of what I told you.”

Sometimes you have to play the hand dealt you and Good did just that.

Scherer had a theory on how this race developed the way it did. Xerxes is developing at a consistent pace, improving and getting better as others of her class are flattening out.

The way that theory played out on Tuesday was that Xerxes strolled to a decisive victory, finishing an easy length in front of Double Bee Sting and 7 ¾ ahead of Pinup Girl.

The race is named for the Grande Dame of Minnesota racing, Frances Genter, who with her husband bred, raised and raced some of the best horses in the U.S.   Ms Genter, in her early 90s at the time, had the joy of watching Unbridled win the 1990 Kentucky Derby.

The Fiscal Cliff


A good horse is hard to find and over time people have been willing to pay vast amounts to acquire one. Million dollar babies are common any more and the Arabian beneficiaries of oil money have paid much more for some of their yearlings.

Anyone familiar with Shakespeare is certainly acquainted with what must be the bargain of the ages for one lucky breeder: A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.

Nonetheless, sometimes all you have to do is breed one. Take the case of  Thomas Lepic and The Fiscal Cliff, a four-year-old colt who added the Bank of America championship Challenge to his dossier on Tuesday, finishing a solid 1 ¼ lengths in front of Okeyfreight and four lengths in front of the third place finisher, Fowl Play.

Lepic is from Iowa City, Iowa and wrestled at the University of Iowa, but horse racing seems to be his passion. He is president of the Iowa Quarter Horse Association.

The Fiscal Cliff, under Benito Baca, won for the second time at Canterbury this meet and this time the winner’s share was a healthy $29,203, a figure he can add to previous earnings of $358,118.

Lepic credited this horse’s success ( he is 12-6-0 from 19 career starts) to his even temperament, his sound mind.  The best way to put it, Lepic said, “is that he is a special horse.”


Jr Rock Star


It’s a 700-mile drive from Diamond, Mo., to Canterbury Park, but it doesn’t seem to bother Don Webb in the least.

Not when he gets results like he did on Tuesday.

Jr Rock Star, under Brayan Velazquez, emerged from a convergence at the wire as the winner of this race and $15,525, finishing a head in front of Blacks Cartle and two heads in front of Bye Bye Birdy.

Webb bought the horse as a yearling  and has about nine more at racetracks. He has been in racing for 34 years.

Tuesday,  Jr Rock Star outdueled nine foes to reach the wire first in a scintillating photo finish to send Webb and his wife back to Missouri with a fond recollection of their most recent trip to Minnesota.