KOOL ODDS PREVAILS IN BANK OF AMERICA CHALLENGE
AUBURN, Wash. (August 25, 2019) – Runner-up in the race a year ago, Kool Odds took down the top prize Sunday in the ninth running of the $61,200 Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Nakia Ramirez—the first woman rider to win the race—Kool Odds finished a neck in front of For Sweet Jess, with 6 to 5 betting favorite Cm Boom Shakalaka three-quarters of a length back in third place.
Kool Odds ran 440 yards in :22.02 and paid $7.60, $5.20 and $2.80. Mark Hanson of Chubbuck, Idaho is the winning trainer and co-owner with Robin Dunn of Rigby, Idaho.
The victory capped a big afternoon for Hanson and Dunn, who also teamed with Thrill of the Cartel to win the $35,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge for 2-year-old quarter horses.
A native of Blackfoot, Idaho, Ramirez said she was grateful to ride Kool Odds in place of Nikeela Black, the jockey who rode the gelding to a runner-up finish last year and subsequently suffered severe injuries in a spill in eastern Idaho.
“Last year when Nikeela rode him, (Kool Odds) ran a phenomenal race,” Ramirez said. “When he switched gears today, he just took off.”
Racing on the far outside, Kool Odds led all the way and held off 19 to 1 long shot For Sweet Jess for the victory.
A 4-year-old California-bred by Favorite Cartel, Kool Odds earned $26,322 and is 6-4-2 in 14 starts with earnings of $74,013. He also won the $50,000 Sandy Downs Championship Challenge last month in Idaho Falls.
For Sweet Jess, ridden by Alex Anaya, dueled with the winner from gate to wire and paid $13 and $5, while Cm Boom Shakalaka, the fastest qualifier three weeks ago, held third under Javier Matias and paid $2.20.
Rounding out the order of finish were L Bar D Razle Dazle, Favorite Bling, Wagonfullofdividends, Love to Reason Br, L Bar D Genuine Red, Tickle Ur Fancy and I Aint Callin.
With the victory, Kool Odds earned a berth in the $250,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) on Saturday, October 26, at Albuquerque Downs.
THRILL OF THE CARTEL UP IN JOHN DEERE JUVENILE – Thrill of the Cartel tagged John Carter Cash and Senor Frogs in the final strides and scored a head victory in the $35,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge for 2-year-old quarter horses.
Ridden by Jesus Canales, the winner ran 350 yards in :18.26 and paid $13.40, $4.80 and $4.60. Mark Hanson is the trainer for owners Hanson Racing of Chubbuck, Idaho, and Kevin and Robin Dunn of Rigby, Idaho.
A Texas-bred gelding by Favorite Cartel, Thrill of the Cartel earned $16,785 and is 3-0-1 in five starts with total earnings of $25,160.
John Carter Cash, the 6 to 5 favorite, finished second but was disqualified and placed fifth for interference leaving the starting gate.
Senor Frogs, 8 to 5 second choice, finished third and was elevated to second and paid $2.80 and $2.60. Royal Pay Bac finished fourth and was placed third and paid $9 to show.
CM ONCE INA BLUEMOON WINS DISTANCE CHALLENGE
Heavily favored Cm Once Ina Bluemoon and jockey Javier Matias overcame the outside post and led gate to wire for a 3 ¼-length victory in the $23,000 Emerald Distance Challenge Stakes for older quarter horses.
Owned and trained by Nick Lowe of Ridgefield, Wash., Cm Once Ina Bluemoon ran 870 yards in :45.94 and paid $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10.
Breaking alertly from post No. 7, Cm Once Ina Bluemoon quickly cleared the field and found the rail, turned back L Bar D Bonnie Lee into the lane, and won with authority.
A 4-year-old Oregon-bred by Ivory James, Cm Once Ina Bluemoon is 2 for 2 at the meet and 9-5-4 in 26 starts lifetime. Sunday’s victory, worth $11,271, upped his bankroll to $64,771.
Heza Gamer finished second and paid $3.60 and $2.40, and L Bar D Bonnie Lee finished third and paid $2.40. Snowbound Preacher, Flyin Rocks, Jealous Jess and Candy Secret rounded out the order of finish.
NOTES: General Mach Four ($2.60) and Das Bear ($3.20)—both trained by Jorge Rosales—became the first five-time winners at the meet with victories in Sunday’s third and seventh races. Eddie Martinez rode both and is 17 for 53 this season combined with Rosales. . .Kevin Krigger also rode two winners and has 21 wins in 12 days since arriving from Ohio earlier this month. . .Washington Oaks winner Killarney Lass breezed three furlongs in :37 2/5 Sunday and is being pointed to the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks on Saturday, September 7. A victory in the 1 1/8 mile B.C. Oaks would earn a $25,000 bonus being offered for a sweep of the Washington Oaks and B.C. Oaks. . .Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:30 p.m.