LDS Dash For Dylan, Canosa Return to Challenge Championships at LSP

(November 7, 2006) - Among the horses from across the United States, as well as Canada and Brazil, at Lone Star Park for the 14th MBNA America Challenge Championships on Saturday are two horses bidding for a unique accomplishment as repeat winners of a Challenge Championship event.

LDS Dash For Dylan, who won the Bayer Legend Derby Challenge Championship (G1) last year at Los Alamitos as the even-money favorite, will start in the $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship (G1) for 3-year-olds and up at 440 yards. Canosa, who captured last year’s Ford Juvenile Challenge Championships (G1) at odds of 16-1, will race in the $200,000 Bayer Legend Derby Challenge Championship (G1) for 3-year-olds at 400 yards.

Trainer Bret Vickery has been pleased with LDS Dash For Dylan’s 4-year-old campaign. “He’s really a big horse, so the older he gets, the better he seems to get,” Vickery said about the Dashing Cleat gelding, a homebred racing for Donna King of Firth, Idaho. “And he likes the distance, so this should be to his advantage.”

After last year’s Challenge Championships, LDS Dash For Dylan qualified to the Champion of Champions (G1) and ran fourth in the $500,000 event behind champion Ocean Runaway. This year, he qualified to the Challenge Championships by winning the Northwest region event on July 1 at Les Bois Park. The gelding then returned to Los Alamitos, where he faced some of the sport’s top older horses. In three races there, he has two thirds to champion Apollitical Time, in the California Challenge Championship (G2) and Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (G1), and a second to 2004 World Champion Be A Bono in the Go Man Go Handicap (G1). G.R. Carter Jr., who rode LDS Dash For Dylan in the Derby Challenge Championship, will again be aboard the gelding in the Challenge Championship.

Canosa qualified to the Derby Challenge Championship by winning the West/Southwest region race on July 30 at Arapahoe Park. The 3-year-old gelding by Red (TB) made his next start on Oct. 21 at Lone Star, where he faced older horses in the 6666 Ranch Handicap (G3) and was beaten just a neck by Challenge Championship qualifier WRS Special Shoe.

“I was a little apprehensive about running a three-year-old against those older horses,” said Bill Hoburg, who trains Canosa for 4G Racing of Othello, Washington. “But a three-year-old race wasn’t going to go. Looking at the form of the older horses, they weren’t running quite their best, so I thought maybe we had a chance to compete with them. We got over the racetrack under the lights, and I was real happy with the horse.”

If they are successful on Saturday night, LDS Dash For Dylan and Canosa will join the other multiple winners of Challenge Championship races: Kool Kue Baby (Distaff, 2000; Championship, 1996, 1998), Sign Of Lanty (Distance, 2000, 2001), Speedy Lunch (Distance, 1993, 1994) and Tailor Fit (Derby, 1998; Championship, 2001).

Post positions for the Challenge Championships will be drawn at a luncheon in Champions at Lone Star on Wednesday, the first day of the AQHA Racing Conference. On Saturday, Lone Star’s entire 12-race card will be televised live on the cable racing network TVG.

—Amy Owens

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