||Daytona B Impressive Winner of the $105,840 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship at Sam Houston Race Park
(Houston, Texas - Saturday, April 18, 2015) -
Daytona B, a four-year-old son of First Down Dash, delivered a track-record-setting performance in tonight's feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $105,840 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship (G2). With confident handling by rider Esgar Ramirez, Daytona B surged to the wire of the 440 yard stakes in :21.276, besting the previous record of :21.332 set by Diamond Tres Seis on August 29, 2008.
The well-traveled Texas-bred, owned by Gregorio Garcia Garza, is trained by Rolando Almanza and was the fourth-fastest qualifier in trials contested on March 28. But tonight, he was sharp and emerged victorious against a very contentious field.
Breaking from post position 8, Daytona B broke well and gained momentum, as did fastest qualifier Jessies First Down, a four-year-old son of Fdd Dynasty, owned by Ted G. Abrams, Sr. and trained by Leslie Padilla. The photo finish sign was posted, and Daytona B was declared the winner. Both Daytona B and Jessies First Down, piloted by Rodrigo Vallejo, earned 112 Speed indexes this evening.
"He's a really amazing horse, and Rolando has done an amazing job training him," said Ramirez. "He tries really hard. It was so close; I wasn't sure I had it, but it was a really nice race."
Almanza won the 2014 Bank of America Texas Challenge with Dash Master Jess and was very grateful to be back in the winner's circle this year.
"First of all, I always thank the Lord for blessing me," said Almanza. "I still can't believe it. I thought we had run second!"
Daytona B is no stranger to Bank of America Challenge Championship competition. Last October, he was the winner of the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows.
From Iowa, he shipped to Hialeah Park, where he made five starts, winning the $100,000 Sam Abbey Invitational. He is currently ranked seventh on the weekly AQHA/HorsePlayernow.com Top Ten Poll, but Almanza says he will take some time off.
"This horse has been on the road everywhere: Florida, Iowa, but now we are going to give him a rest and save him for Lone Star."
Daytona B ($5.40) will advance to the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1). The 2015 Bank of America Challenge Championships will take place at Lone Star Park on Saturday, November 7.
Emd Baileys N Coffee Scores in the $24,590 Colors of Houston Paint Futurity (G2)
Ems Baileys N Coffee, owned by Kaye and Dan Jones of Kemp, Texas, was an impressive winner in the $24,590 Colors of Houston Paint Futurity (G2).
The Oklahoma-bred daughter of Cartel Success broke her maiden on March 6 at Remington Park and notched her first stakes win this evening under jockey Francisco Calderon. She rallied strongly to catch Caleb Reed, crossing the wire of the 300 yard dash in :16.05.
Tooter Jordan saddled the filly for Matt Whitekiller, who remained at Remington Park in Oklahoma.
"She was perfect in the paddock; couldn't have asked for anything better," said Jordan. "Matt sent her to me five days ago. All I did was feed her and lead her up here. The credit goes to Dan and Kaye, Matt and his crew in Oklahoma."
Sent off as the heavy favorite, Ems Baileys N Coffee paid $3.60 for the win. Caleb Reed held on for second, and Political Upheaval completed the trifecta.
Imflashinthechicks Cruises in the $27,020 Colors of Texas Paint Maturity (G2)
A full field of eight Paints went postward in the $27,020 Colors of Texas Paint Maturity (G2) and Imaflashinthechicks was a dominant winner.
The four-year-old Oklahoma-bred had not run since last July at Fair Meadows at Tulsa, but was fresh and ready, drawing off by three lengths under Calderon. Trained by Bobby Touchet, he covered 300 yards in :17.453.
"He broke well and I didn't have to do anything," said Calderon.
Owned by Racin RMS, the son of Royal Quick Flash won his seventh start from 17 starts and added $12,429 to his career bankroll.
"We've had him for close to a year," said Oscar Montero, who spoke on behalf of the ownership group. "We gave him a long layoff, and he came back really well. The whole team is really proud of him."
Last year's futurity winner, Cat Scratch Dash, was second, and Sis B Grand was third.