|Heavyweights to Meet in MBNA America Challenge Championship at LSP (AQHA News Release)
(November 6, 2006) - The field is set for tough competition
in the MBNA America Racing Challenge Championship race scheduled
for Saturday, November 11 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
The premier race of the evening, the MBNA America Challenge Championship,
will offer some of American Quarter Horse racing’s most talented
2005 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse DM Shicago, owned
by Jim and Marilyn Helzer and currently trained by Heath Taylor,
will run in the headlining race of the evening. The 2002 gray gelding
by Separatist was laid off for nearly four months before returning
to the track to get his first win of the year on Oct. 26 at Lone
Star Park in an allowance race.
In 2005, DM Shicago was the first American Quarter Horse in 17
years, since Dash For Speed in 1988, to win all three derbies at
Ruidoso Downs, which put him on his way to being named the 2005
AQHA Racing World Champion. My Easy Credit, in 1977, was the only
other horse to win the derby series since it started 33 years ago.
DM Shicago has lifetime earnings of $1,848,510, which places him
fourth on the all-time earnings list.
Valdasher won the MBNA America Central Challenge (G2) earlier this
year and has been a solid and consistent contender since winning
the Black Gold Futurity Championship (RG2) as a 2-year-old. The
4-year-old stallion by Dashing Val is owned by Gregory and Carol
Huckins of Douglass, Kansas, and trained by Carl White.
Another tough contender in the championship race is the 6-year-old
sorrel Pure D Dash gelding A Long Goodbye, owned and trained by
Julian DeVargas of Laguna, New Mexico. Having earned nearly $500,000,
A Long Goodbye this year has scored five victories from seven starts,
and in his career has set two track records, including the :20.686
world quarter-mile record in the MBNA America New Mexico Challenge
(G1) in 2005 and in January set the 350-yard track record at Sunland
Park with a :17.171 time.
Don’t count out the 5-year-old sorrel mare This Snow Is Cold,
owned by Benito Tello’s Los Ladrilleros Horse Racing Co. of
Houston. Trained by Melinda Garcia and earning $319,835, This Snow
Is Cold scored in this year’s MBNA America Texas Challenge
(G1) and the last two runnings of the MBNA America Oklahoma Challenge
(G1). By This Snow is Royal, the mare also had second-place finishes
in this year’s Refrigerator Handicap (G1) and Sam Houston
MBNA America, now Bank of America, has been the official financial
provider of AQHA since 1993. The company also is title sponsor of
the MBNA America Racing Challenge.
The MBNA America Challenge Championship is the headliner on a stakes-filled
MBNA America Challenge Championship night at Lone Star Park on November
11. The MBNA America Racing Challenge is American Quarter Horse
racing’s richest program for all American Quarter Horses.
A total of 72 races take place in 11 regions across the United States,
Canada, Mexico and South America throughout the year. American Quarter
Horses compete in one of six different types of races, depending
on their age and ability.
The MBNA America Racing Challenge is a $4.8-million purse and bonus
awards program, of which more than 60 percent is added money from
AQHA Corporate Partners and host racetracks.
Stay up-to-date on this year’s MBNA America Challenge Championships
and view a complete list of contenders by visiting http://racing.aqha.com/racing/challenge/index.aspx.
This year’s Challenge Championships can be seen live from
Lone Star Park on TVG.