11/10/2013 1:13PM

Los Alamitos: Vodka With Ice wins Bank of America Challenge Championship


CYPRESS, Calif. – Vodka With Ice, an 8-year-old gelding, earned a berth in the $750,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 14 with an upset win in Saturday’s $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Francisco Rubio, Vodka With Ice ($36.60) ran 440 yards in 21.34 seconds, holding off a late threat from 9-5 favorite Cold Cash 123 to win by a neck. Valiant Valor was third in the field of 11.

Vodka With Ice had qualified for Saturday’s race by winning the Emerald Downs Challenge Championship on Sept. 1. By Stoli, Vodka With Ice has won 12 of 48 starts and earned $340,708.

Owned by Gerardo Prado and trained by Pablo Rabasa Jr., Vodka With Ice was one of three horses from the Pacific Northwest who won lucrative stakes at Los Alamitos on Saturday.

Jr Dynasty Mountain ($6) won the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge over 400 yards in his first start since winning the Boise Derby Challenge at Les Bois Park in Idaho in July. Honoroso ($14.20) won the $100,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship over 870 yards for his richest stakes win. A 4-year-old gelding, Honoroso had won the Boise Distance Challenge in July.

Jr Dynasty Mountain and Honoroso are trained by Ryan Hanson, who got the first major stakes wins of his career Saturday.

In other stakes, Raising Kain ($61.20) was the surprise winner of the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship over 350 yards. Raising Kain won the Retama Juvenile Challenge in San Antonio in August to qualify for Saturday’s race.

Check N Fetch ($5.20) won her fifth stakes of 2013 in the $100,000 Merial Distaff Challenge for fillies and mares over 400 yards. Trained by Paul Jones, Check N Fetch holds a berth in the Champion of Champions through her win in the Mildred Vessels Handicap for fillies and mares in September.