The contingent of Hanson-trained runners that will participate in this year’s Bank of America Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows added a name to the list after Ynot Walk outdueled 3-5 favorite Flying Foose by a neck to win the $35,550 John Deere California Juvenile Challenge on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Trainer Ryan Hanson saddled Ynot Walk to victory for his family’s RTM Stables and George Weldon in the 350-yard dash making him the third horses trained by a Hanson to earn a ticket to race in the Challenge Championships to be held at Iowa track on October 18. Ryan’s brother, Mark, had previously qualified reigning AQHA distance champion Honoroso to the Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship and Sign Of Corona to the Adequan Derby Challenge Challenge. Honoroso and Sign Of Corona won their respective regional races at Les Bois Park in Idaho.
Ryan Hanson knows the Challenge races well, as he saddled Honoroso to victory in last year’s Grade 1 $100,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos. The trainer could have the satisfaction of winning a Challenge race with a horse that he selected at the 2013 Los Alamitos Equine Sale.
“He was high on my list of horses that I liked at the sale,” Ryan said. “My brother and I started bidding on him, but the price got too high for us. My dad and George Weldon jumped in to help us and that’s how we were able to buy him. I liked him a lot, plus we had also had his older brother Larry Hill. It’s a good family of horses. Their mother was a really nice runner.”
Sired by Walk Thru Fire, Ynot Walk is out of Los Alamitos Million Futurity finalist Ynot Bar. A runner-up in the Governor’s Cup Futurity, Ynot Bar is a full sister to All American Derby finalist and Kindergarten Futurity runner-up Dont Dink With Me and a half-sister to Charger Bar Handicap runner-up and Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist Miss Kittys Bar Bet.
Ridden by Guillermo Suarez, Ynot Walk bumped at the start, but he still covered the distance in a swift :17.536 to earn his first win in six career starts. Suarez is the only rider to have piloted the gelding.
“Guilermo helped me all spring long galloping horses,” Hanson said. “He deserved the opportunity and I’m happy that it’s worked out. He knows this horse well.”
Ynot Walk earned $16,708 for the win to take his lifetime earnings to $20,485. He’s hit the board in all but one of his lifetime starts.
Jim Nebeker’s Flying Foose also bumped at the start and had to settle for $7,110 for finishing in second place. The Foose gelding has now finished in the top three in six consecutive outings. Eduardo Nicasio rode Flying Foose for trainer Paul Jones.
Colten O’Dell, Wendy O’Dell and Pirate Stables’ First Down Tiny Man ran a monster race from post three. The gelding was eighth after a troubled start, but made a huge run in the final 100 yards to finish in third place, only a nose behind Flying Foose. Trained by Chris O’Dell and ridden by Cruz Mendez, First Down Tiny Man earned $3,555 for his gritty effort. Cartels Fire, Koolist, Dunk Two Politicians, Tiny Dasha Corona, Keepyourshirton and Juicy Walk completed the field.
TOO COOL IS TOO FAST IN ZOETIS CALIFORNIA
Jose C. De La Torre has campaigned Quarter Horse for over 20 years, but his most important victory to date came courtesy of Too Cool To Rule in Saturday’s $16,650 Zoetis California Starter Allowance Challenge at Los Alamitos.
Trained by Eloy Navarro, the 4-year-old mare by First Prize Perry earned a berth to the $75,000 Zoetis Starter Allowance Challenge to be held at Prairie Meadows, Iowa on October 18.
“I’m looking forward to going to Iowa,” De La Torre said. “I’ve had horses a long time and to have this victory is special for me. I’m from Zacatecas, Mexico and I would race horse in match races because that’s all we had there. I have about six horses racing here and I enjoy the sport a lot.”
Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves, Too Cool To Rule was making her first start for De La Torre and Navarro after being claimed for $5,000 on June 27. In her first start for her new connections, the Vessels Stallion Farm-bred runner covered the 350 yards in :17.600, while defeating Hez Stellar by a head. This was her sixth win in 17 career starts. She earned $8,325 for her Zoetis California victory.
Martha Wells’ Hez Stellar, fresh off a victory in the California Breeders Senior $5,000 Claiming Stakes, earned $3,580 for her strong effort for trainer Paul Jones and jockey Ramon Sanchez. Hesmore To Check, Stel Heights, Lotsa Boots and Hawktaflyer completed the field.