|World Champ DM Shicago Back On Track at Lone Star; Challenge Championships Next?
(October 26, 2006) - Defending AQHA World Champion DM Shicago
returned to action Thursday night at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie,
Texas and crushed two rivals with a clocking of :17.462 for 350
yards in a $7,000 allowance/optional claiming race.
Originally a seven-horse field, the field was reduced to three
when four runners scratched, including Mogambo Fly VM, who’ll
represent South America in the Nov. 11 MBNA America Challenge Championships
at Lone Star.
DM Shicago broke alertly from the inside post and rolled home to
defeat Sambaso Jet by 1 ½ lengths. Jess Wicked was another
1 ¼ lengths back in third.
“He just beat two but he ran really, really well and this
is a step in the right direction,” said Heath Taylor, who
trains the $1.8 million-earner for Jim and Marilyn Helzer of Arlington,
Taylor used Thursday night’s race as a springboard for bigger
races down the road.
“It’s not often a World Champion will run for a $7,000
purse, but he needed this prep if he’s about to tackle America’s
top 440-yard horses in a Grade 1,” Taylor said.
DM Shicago, the 2004 All American Futurity and ’05 All American
Derby champ, was sidelined due to a lingering illness this spring,
which Taylor attributed to the gelding’s uncharacteristic
five-race winless streak.
“He had a really bad lung infection all spring and we really
needed to take our time for it to heal properly,” Taylor said.
“We had to change his regiment and adapt to the horse to see
how he’d respond. It took time. The good thing is that he’s
a really, really sound 4-year-old.
“He tipped me off that he might be back in form with that
last workout (:10.89 on Oct. 11 at Lone Star Park) but there’s
a big difference between a 220-yard workout in the morning and facing
the best 440-yard horses in the country. This was a good steppingstone
because :17.46 is fast against two horses or 10.”
Taylor said there was an outside chance that DM Shicago could return
in 16 days for the Grade 1, $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championships
– the richest of 12 stakes events that will comprise Quarter
Horse racing’s championship night.
“He finished third in the Oklahoma Challenge and fourth in
the Texas Challenge and we’d need horses that finished ahead
of him not to come,” Taylor said. “We’ll see how
it all shakes down. If not, there’s also the $200,000 Zia
Park Championship in New Mexico (on Dec. 10) that gives the winner
a berth in the [$400,000] Championship at Sunland Park (on Dec.