05/10/2006 11:00PM

DM Shicago set for 2006 debut


Defending Quarter Horse world champion DM Shicago, purchased earlier this year by Jim and Marilyn Helzer and now trained by Heath Taylor, makes his 2006 debut in the Grade 1, $98,010 MBNA America Oklahoma Challenge on Sunday night at Remington Park.

The winner receives a berth in the Grade 1, $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship on Nov. 11 at Lone Star Park.

DM Shicago secured his world championship when he swept the 2005 Ruidoso, Rainbow, and All American derbies at Ruidoso Downs for trainer Carl Draper. He also won the 2004 All American Futurity and has earned $1,825,263 with 7 wins from 12 career starts.

DM Shicago traveled to Los Alamitos for the Champion of Champions in December, but did not start after becoming ill. He was then sent to Sunland Park for The Championship at Sunland Park on Dec. 30. He had a troubled start and lost all chance in the 400-yard test, finishing eighth as the odds-on favorite. That was his most recent start.

DM Shicago worked 330 yards from the gate in 17.04 seconds on April 30 in preparation for his return.

SLM Snowman has competed in the MBNA America Challenge Championship the previous two years, winning in 2004 and finishing third in 2005. In his only 2006 start, he ran third in the MBNA America New Mexico Challenge at Sunland Park to 440-yard world-record holder A Long Goodbye. SLM Snowman was third in last year's MBNA America Oklahoma Challenge.

In other Challenge races on Sunday night at Remington Park, owner Walt Fletcher has probable favorites None As Easy in the Grade 3, $45,000 John Deere Oklahoma Distaff Challenge and First to Ramble in the Grade 3, $48,040 Red Cell Oklahoma Distance Challenge.

None As Easy, on the board in 14 of 18 career starts, returned from a layoff of nearly six months and won her trial in 19.977 seconds for 400 yards, the fastest time from two trials. She won the 2005 Central Distaff Challenge and was third in the Grade 1 Distaff Challenge Championship.

First to Ramble is defending his Oklahoma Distance Challenge title after winning last year's race by 2 1/2 lengths. He rallied to win his trial by a head on April 29, his first start in four months.

Bridled Lightnin fastest qualifier

Bridled Lightnin, a daylight winner in her two starts, is the fastest-qualifying 2-year-old in the Grade 3, $70,470 Ford Texas Juvenile Challenge on Saturday at Retama Park.

Bridled Lightnin won her maiden at first asking by 1 3/4 lengths and then won the second of eight Texas Juvenile Challenge trials by two lengths. She was timed in 18.427 seconds while facing a stiff headwind.

Stoli on the Rocks, the second-fastest qualifier, won his trial in 18.428 seconds after finishing third in his career debut.