CM Once Ina Bluemoon outran his 22-1 odds to win Sunday's 440-yard, $48,994 Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge Stakes.
Prepped by Nick Lowe for owner Chris Sutton, CM Once Ina Bluemoon covered his quarter-mile trip in :22.765, and his margin of victory was a clear 1 1/2 lengths from stablemate and 4-5 favorite CM Boom Shakalaka. James Wooten Jr. rode the 6-year-old Ivory James gelding, who earned $23,027 and a berth in the October 23, $250,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at The Downs at Albuquerque.
CM Once Ina Bluemoon was bred in Oregon by Randy Dickerson, and he was shortening in distance off of his 1 3/4-length victory in a 610-yard race with a $4,200 purse at the Crooked River Roundup meet in Prineville, Oregon. The gelding has won 15 of 38 starts -- including all four of his outs at Emerald Downs -- and he has banked $132,143. His three career stakes wins include the 2019 and '20 AQHA Emerald Downs Distance Challenge.
Arizona Favorite finished third and was followed by L Bar D Genuine Red, Dr Tool, Sables Dashin, DF Storm Tales, Lidonna, and Thrill Of The Cartel.
Also on Sunday, fastest qualifier and 6-5 favorite Apolinaria Prize broke sharply from post 5 and scored a wire-to-wire victory in the $51,519 John Deere Emerald Downs Juvenile Challenge Stakes.
Ridden by Cesar Moreno, Apolinaria Prize covered 350 yards in :18.351 while defeating 5-2 second choice Leaving Angelz by a clear two lengths. Jose Rosales Gomez saddled the bay daughter of Fast Prize Cartel for owner Juan Manuel Marquez.
Apolinaria Prize was bred in California by EG High Desert Farms LLC. She is out of SS Calendar Girl, an 11-year-old daughter of the Fishers Dash stallion Finding Nemo and winner of the 2013 Speedhorse Derby (G3) at Fair Meadows at Tulsa. Her second dam, the Mr Jess Perry mare First Prize Robin, won the '06 Remington Park Futurity (G1).
Apolinaria Prize was coming off of a neck victory in the first of two trials on August 1. Raced in two states, including Oregon, he has won three of five starts and has earned $39,104.
Empowered To Prosper, Eagle Assault, Sonoras Death Row, CM Rosie At Ta Bar, Uncle Shine, and Like Da Boss completed the order of finish.
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