10.18.2014

Prairie Meadows - AQHA Bank of America Challenge Championships

Honoroso Returns in Red Cell
The AQHA Bank of America Challenge Championships return tonight to Prairie Meadows in Iowa. An 11-race card (all stakes) with full and competitive fields is set to begin at 5pm PT.

Prairie Meadows last held the event in 2012 while Los Alamitos Race Course was the venue for the 2013 Championships. Looking ahead, Lone Star Park has been selected as the host track for the 2015 edition.

After that, I hope we have it back here at Los Alamitos for 2016. Nothing is official yet but I hope the Challenge Championships return to California because it always is a great day of Quarter Horse racing.

The six AQHA Challenge Championship events that highlight the card go as followed:

Race 6  Red Cell Distance Challenge 870 yards
Race 7  Merial Distaff Challenge 400 yards
Race 8  Adequan Derby Challenge 400 yards
Race 9  John Deere Juvenile Challenge 350 yards
Race 10  Bank of America Challenge 440 yards
Race 11 Zoetis Starter Allowance Challenge 350 yards

The two races I want to focus on are the Red Cell Distance Challenge and the featured Bank of America Challenge.

Red Cell Challenge Championship:

I found the picture above from last year's Red Cell Distance Challenge when Honoroso (#3) would prevail to win it at odds of 6-1. I went on to miss race 7 of the pick-3 but I really thought that Honoroso would be overlooked that day. Going into today's race, I think that Honoroso will be overlooked once again because he's been facing easier competition compared to others in this field.

There is no question that Wahoo is the horse to beat and will be the big deserving favorite at post time. I think Honoroso's best shot at winning this race is to clear early and cross over to the rail and making Wahoo come and get him. Even though Honoroso has not faced any tough fields this year, I like that he's in sharp form and have no doubt his connections will have him at his best for today. Honoroso's morning line odds are 9-2 and I expect to get somewhere between that and 7-1 at post time. If that's the case, I will once again have a win bet on him and single him in the pick-3 (hopefully this time I hit the other legs).

Bank of America Challenge Championship:

This is a tough race. I landed on #12 Testing the Ice because of his last two starts. I think a repeat effort of his race two starts ago will put him in the winners circle. My second choice is #4 Jesscuzican who dead-heated for second with Testing the Ice in their race at Sunland. Since that effort, Jesscuzican has put together another three straight seconds against solid fields at Ruidoso. My third choice is #7 New Look who arrives from Los Alamitos after running a solid third behind Bon Accord and Last To Fire in the GI Go Man Go Handicap. Both of those runners are back in tonight's Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship. I will also have full-card picks for tonight's card at Los Alamitos in a separate post.

Here are my full-card picks for tonight at Prairie Meadows:

Race 1:  4-8-7
Race 2:  1-4-3
Race 3:  9-1-7
Race 4:  10-8-7
Race 5:  4-6-1
Race 6:  3-1-2
Race 7:  10-7-9
Race 8:  4-6-1
Race 9:  11-3-5
Race 10:  12-4-7
Race 11:  5-4-3


I watch horses run around.

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