||Maxx Breaks The Maiden In The $69,390 John Deere Juvenile Texas Challenge At Sam Houston Race Park
(Houston, Texas - Monday, May 16, 2016) -
Sam Houston Race Park's 2016 American Quarter Horse racing season wrapped up on Monday, May 16. Two Bank of America Challenge stakes races, originally carded on Saturday, May 14, were rescheduled for closing day.
Maxx Impressive Winner of the $69,390 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge (G3)
Trainer Rolando Almanza has a very good track record with two-year-olds in the John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge (G3). Last year, he won the stakes with Undivided Atemption. Today, he and rider Manuel Gutierrez teamed up with Maxx for owner Irma Z. Vargas. The son of Pyc Paint Your Wagon out of the Bully Bullion mare Bullions N Garters was just making his second career start. He ran second to fastest qualifier Teardrops At The Bar in trials on April 22, but reversed the order of finish in today's final. Breaking from post position five, Maxx finished with authority, covering 350 yards in :17.502.
"It's always a blessing, and I thank the Lord," said Almanza. "He broke great today; got out front and stayed there. We knew he could run, and everything worked out."
Almanza also saddled Shez Freaky, owned by Mario Lozano-Cantu, who ran fourth in the $268,000 Harrah's Futurity at Louisiana Downs on March 23.
"We had a lot of faith in her, but also in Maxx," added Almanza. "He ran a little funny in the trials, so we made some changes, and it seemed to make a big difference."
Teardrops at the Bar ran second under jockey Luis Vivanco. Bred and owned by James Hrabovsky and J. Leann Nalls, the son of Separatist had won both of his previous starts prior to the John Deere final.
Michael Amburn's homebred Jayronimo, also trained by Stroud, ran third with Jose Alvarez in the saddle.
Maxx paid $11.80 as the second betting choice and earned $31,119. Gustafame ran fourth, followed by Pool Runner, Shez Freaky, Chase The Rainstorm, Wishing Rock, Mulliner and R Imperial Princes.
Maxx is paid into the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs and will ship to New Mexico to prepare for the August trials. He will represent Texas in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos on October 29.
Confident Rally by BM Casina Royale in the $44,460 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge
Bobby W. Myers' homebred BM Casina Royale was the second fastest qualifier in trials to the $44,460 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge on April 23 at Sam Houston Race Park. She saved her best effort for the final, drawing off to a 1 1/4-length victory under jockey Rodrigo Vallejo.
The race had a very eventful beginning when Ima Dashing Gator broke through the gate and was scratched.
Following close to a 20-minute delay, the field was reloaded, and BM Casina Royale blazed to her 400-yard victory in :19.700 seconds, earning a 106 speed index. The track, sloppy when racing began at 1:00 p.m., was upgraded to fast by the running of the Adequan.
Multiple stakes finalist BM Casina Royale, a daughter of Pyc Paint Your Wagon out of the Royal Shake Em mare Joyalty, is trained by leading Sam Houston Race Park conditioner Judd Kearl.
"She's a super filly; tries her guts out every time," said Kearl. "She was stakes-placed, but finally got her first stakes win. She comes from a good family; everything that mare produces can run."
Mazzimo, bred, owned and trained by Jorge Haddad, ran second under Esgar Ramirez. The son of leading second crop sire The Louisiana Cartel was the fourth fastest qualifier.
Mad Max Cartel finished third but was disqualified to last for interference. SR Esmeralda was placed third, followed by fastest qualifier, Brookside. Juanny Futbol, Swifter Deal, Love Is Great and Moonraker completed the order of finish.
Sent off as the betting favorite, BM Casina Royale paid $5.20 for the win, adding her fifth career win from 11 starts. With today's check of $20,534, the Oklahoma-bred has now earned $47,943.
BM Casina Royale will head to Delta Downs for the Firecracker Derby before shipping to the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) at Los Alamitos on October 29.