Gunpowder Farms' Indian Paint took a commanding lead in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge Sept. 24 with a lucrative victory in an allowance race at Parx Racing on Pennsylvania Derby Day.
The 4-year-old filly's win capped a productive run for Challenge horses in less than 24 hours as three others won races: Colony Strike, Resident Scholar and Tiz Majesty.
Indian Paint, trained by Kelly Rubley and based at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, rallied from the off the pace and had just enough after a stretch battle to defeat second choice Felini by a neck in the one mile and 70-yard second-level allowance test. Parx increases overnight purses on Derby Day, and as such the pot was $70,000. The winner, ridden by Emmanuel Esquivel, collected $42,000.
With that timely score, Indian Paint became the first Challenge horse to clear the $100,000 mark in earnings since the contest began March 18 at Laurel Park. She now has a bankroll of $105,745 and a more than $37,000 lead over Yes Mz Adah, the former standings leader who has $68,440.
Indian Paint, who has competed in two turf stakes this year, returned a generous $21.20 to win to her followers and covered the distance on the dirt in 1:43.30. It was her third win since the Challenge began.
Earlier on Saturday down I-95 at Delaware Park, the 8-year-old gelding Colony Strike won his second race in a row, this time on the jump to a $10,000 claimer from the $5,000 level. Colony Strike, claimed by trainer Jeff Trosclair on behalf of Hooties Racing three starts back, moved to sixth in the Challenge standings with $43,663 in earnings given his $9,600 payday.
Ridden by apprentice Jose Bracho, Colony Strike ($3.80 to win as the favorite in a five-horse field) won by three lengths over Senor Quickie and covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.62. No horse in the Challenge has been more consistent than Colony Strike, who has four wins, three seconds and one third in nine starts since March 18.
Resident Scholar, a 3-year-old gelding owned by 3 Amigos 3 Stables, also won his second in a row earlier on the Delaware card. Trainer Jorge Diaz kept Resident Scholar at the $5,000 claiming level and he responded with a 6 3/4-length win over favored Seekingtheperfect.
Ridden by Christian Olmo, Resident Scholar paid $11 to win in a five-horse field and finished the 1 1/16 miles on a dirt track rated fast in 1:49.58. The $7,200 first-place share of the purse pushed his contest earnings to $19,515.
The evening of Sept. 22 at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Brian MacFarlane's Tiz Majesty broke her maiden—and subsequently collected his first Challenge win—with a blowout 14 3/4-length win over Strict as the heavy favorite in a short field. Trained by Brandon MacFarlane, the 4-year-old filly paid $2.40 in the $10,000 claiming event and reported home in 1:49.36 for 1 1/16 miles on a track rated fast.
Tiz Majesty, ridden by Penn National-based Andrew Wolfsont, earned $8,580 to increase her contest earnings to $19,430.
Click on the standings tab to view the updated numbers as of the racing of Sept. 23.