Burgart Blog: California, Iowa and New Mexico Regionals

Burgart Blog: California, Iowa and New Mexico Regionals

Get handicapping tips for five regional stakes being held around the country.

A blurry photo of a racehorse competing. PHOTO: Bee Silva

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By Ed Burgart

Bank of America Challenge Championship night is only 10 weeks away, and five horses this Saturday and Sunday will earn berths to their respective finals October 23 at The Downs at Albuquerque.

Key regional finals take place Saturday and Sunday at Albuquerque, Prairie Meadows and Los Alamitos. 

After watching video-tape replays and analyzing past company lines, I expect Apollitical Mogul, Perrys Double Down, Dasha Dynasty, Not A Secret and Iza Good Guy to win their respective regional challenge races.

On Saturday, Prairie Meadows features the Q-Racing Video Distaff Challenge, and Los Alamitos has the John Deere Juvenile California Regional Challenge. Albuquerque is home of the Bank of America Albuquerque Challenge Championship.

On Sunday, Prairie Meadows has the regional Adequan® Derby Challenge and regional John Deere Juvenile Championship.

Q-Racing Prairie Meadows Distaff Challenge
In the Q-Racing Video Distaff Challenge at Prairie Meadows, Apollitical Mogul holds a huge class edge and is my pick to defeat El Oh El, who ran second last year in the same race. In her most recent start, Apollitical Mogul broke sharp and ran a strong second in a distaff regional challenge at Canterbury Park behind Lynnder 16, winner of last year's AQHA Distaff Challenge Championship (G1). Apollitical Mogul also has shown a fondness for Prairie Meadows, where she has won three races from eight starts.
Bank of America Albuquerque Championship Challenge
In the regional Bank of America Challenge Championship at Albuquerque, the improving Perrys Double Down is my choice to defeat the classy champion CERs Final Try. In his last eye-catching one-length win in the Mr Jet Moore Handicap 20 days ago at Ruidoso, Perrys Double Down defeated Powerful Favorite, who was victorious earlier this year in the Grade 1 Brad McKinzie Winter Championship at Los Alamitos.

CERs Final Try is the field's richest runner with $695,997 in earnings, but his 2021 form isn't nearly as good as his 2020 resume, which includes a Grade 1 win in the Rainbow Derby.

John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge
In the John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge, Dasha Dynasty easily posted the fastest qualifying time, while his half-brother Dasha Good Reason and Freighttrain Cartel are the main contenders. Dasha Dynasty caught the eye when rallying for second two outs ago after being bumped out sharply and breaking inward at the start of an Ed Burke Million trial.

Dasha Good Reason has not been quick early but has finished strongly in winning all three starts. Freighttrain Cartel broke out severely when fourth behind Dasha Good Reason in his Challenge trial race.

Adequan® Prairie Meadows Derby Challenge
On Sunday, Not A Secret is my selection in the Adequan® Prairie Meadows Derby Challenge. He was a sharp third in the Prairie Meadows Gold Derby won by Kool And Fabulous, who was posting his third straight victory.

And my key video-tape replay for all five races centers on Iza Good Guy, who is the horse I like in the John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge. Bet down to 4-5 in his trial from Post 2, Iza Good Guy veered in to get bumped off stride, lost early position and finished with a flourish for sixth in a much-better-than-looked effort.

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