APOLINARIA PRIZE DOMINATES BANK OF AMERICA CHALLENGE
AUBURN, Wash. (Aug. 20, 2023) – Improving her Emerald Downs record to four for four lifetime, Apolinaria Prize was never headed and rolled to a one-length victory in Sunday’s 13th running of the $57,301 Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge.
The fastest qualifier three weeks ago, Apolinaria Prize justified her heavy favoritism by running 440 yards in :22.77 seconds and returning $4.20, $2.80, and $2.20. The winner carried 124 lbs. under jockey Cordarelton Benn for trainer Lorenzo Marquez-Campo and owner Juan Manuel Marquez of Stanfield, Ore.
With the victory, Apolinaria Prize joins Chicks Special Angel (2014) and Sorelli (2016) as fillies or mares to win Emerald Downs’ top quarter horse event.
A 4-year-old California-bred by Fast Prize Cartel, Apolinaria Prize earned $26,208 to boost her bankroll to $138,250. Her overall mark is 7-0-5 from 17 starts including a two-length victory in the 2021 John Deere Juvenile Challenge.
Breaking sharply from the No. 8 post, Apolinaria Prize wrested command from Fast Movin Freight early and powered home as much the best.
“She’s a really nice filly and I’m privileged to ride her,” said Benn, who also was aboard in the trial three weeks ago.
The victory earns the Apolinaria Prize a berth in the $250,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park on Oct. 21.
Fast Movin Freight, a 22 to 1 long shot ridden by Alex Anaya at 124 lbs., held second and paid $11.20 and $6. The Rev Rocker, 4 to 1 second choice ridden by Guillermo Suarez at 121 lbs., finished third and paid $3.40 to show.
Alabama Hills, No Juans Fool, defending champion Dr Tool, L Bar D Mistr Cartel, Newport Guy, and Cm Boom Shakalaka rounded out the complete order of finish. Gc Harrys Game was scratched earlier in the day.
Cm Boom Shakalaka appeared in the race for the fifth straight year, finishing first in 2020, second in 2021, third in 2019, and fourth in 2022.
NOWHERE TOO RUN PREVAILS IN JOHN DEERE JUVENILE CHALLENGE
In the $43,100 John Deere Juvenile for 2-year-old quarter horses, Nowhere too Run turned back odds-on favorite Da Bros Cartel in deep stretch for a neck victory in :18.40 for 350 yards.
Ridden by Jaime Lopez carrying 122 lbs., Nowhere too Run paid $9, $4.20, and $3 as second choice in a field of nine. Benito Curiel saddled the winner for owner Onofre Garcia.
Breaking alertly from the No. 1 post, Nowhere too Run dueled for the lead throughout, relinquishing command past mid-stretch, but coming back on to snatch the victory going away. A Washington-bred by Freakier, Nowhere too Run earned $20,258 and is 3-1-0 from five starts with total earnings of $29,564.
“I was confident, he’s been improving every race,” Lopez said in a jubilant winner’s circle. “He ran huge today.”
Da Bros Cartel, ridden by Guillermo Suarez at 120 lbs., finished second and paid $2.60 and $2.20 for place and show. An Oregon-bred by Carters Cartel, Da Bros Cartel has now finished runner-up in futurities at Pocatello Downs, Grants Pass Downs, and Emerald Downs.
Peregrino Af, ridden by Martin Osuna at 120 lbs., flew late to finish third and paid $3 for show, while Jbc Capricho, Jr, Sorelli Lights, Juan Gest Card, El Cookie, and Las Bichota rounded out the full order of finish. Lee Wes T was scratched.
NOTES: Mutuel handle totaled $2,239,830 for an 11-race card, second largest handle of the season. . .Tax Code ($4) won his third $25,000 allowance race of the meet, collaring Prayer of Jabez late for the victory in 1:08.92 for six furlongs. . .Kiss Ride Goodbye ($3), Party Foul ($3.60), and Young Life Laura ($13.40) also became three-time winners this season, scoring in races three, four, and 10. . . Fantastic Day ($14.20) bagged another last to first victory, his second in nine days, defeating $20,000 claimers in 1:09.70 for six furlongs. . .Kevin Radke rode three winners Sunday, totaled six for the week, and is third overall with 43 wins. . .With nine days remaining in the 2023 season, Alex Cruz owns a 54-49 lead over Luis Negron atop the jockeys’ standings. . .In the trainers’ race, Justin Evans leads with 37 wins, followed by Blaine Wright with 26 and Jorge Rosales at 25. . .Live racing resumes Friday at 7 p.m.