Defending Champion

Defending Champion

Madewell looks for a repeat victory in the Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship.

Madewell. PHOTO: Coady Photography

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By Andrea Caudill

Madewell’s big victory in the 2020 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1) was a crowning achievement for the gelding, who was honored as the sport’s champion distance horse. 

He returns on October 23 at The Downs at Albuquerque, seeking a repeat victory against a tough field of horses in this year's Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship.

Madewell races for his namesake, owners and breeders Ray and Davy Madewell of Ringling, Oklahoma, and has won or placed in 27 of 36 career starts, earning $312,049. 

While it took the 7-year-old gelding a couple starts at the beginning of this year to get into full flight, he has proved himself in his four most recent starts, with three wins and one second. 

His most recent start, the $56,194 AQHA Albuquerque Distance Challenge (G2), was his most impressive for the year. Breaking from the outside, early in the stretch he was trailing early leader Wascallywittlewabbit by nearly 4 lengths. Coming around the turn, he collared his rival and late in the stretch, he put him away by 1½ lengths. 

“It was amazing,” Davy Madewell said of the win. “Maria Baca has taken over the ride on this horse, and really seems to suit him. She has a real feel for him, and he seems to want to please her. They’re a real good fit for each other.” 

The horse loves The Downs at Albuquerque, as he hasn’t lost at the track in his six most recent outs there. 

“This horse has meant everything to my husband,” Davy says. “You don’t get a horse like this every time you breed that can win and you can take pleasure in like this. He has just done so well, and we’re just very pleased with him.”

While the Madewells are looking forward to watching their champion again, they also are looking forward to the long term – a 2-year-old half-brother by Send A Candy Guy named Canyons Streaking. 

They are taking their time with the big, gangly horse, but hope that he, too, has the family spirit. 

“We’re really looking forward to giving him the opportunity to try his brother’s record,” Davy says. 

That record may get even tougher after next Saturday night.

Look for complete coverage of the Bank of America Challenge Championships at AQHA's website and on racing social media. If you can't attend the races live at The Downs at Albuquerque on October 23, watch on Q-Racing Video (subscription required)!