05/06/2011 4:26PM

Remington: Top pair to start side by side in Challenge Championship


Quarter Horse racing might have a new rivalry brewing. Streakin Down and Stolis Winner, who both broke a track record at Remington Park last month when finishing one-two in a trial for the $100,000 Oklahoma Challenge Championship, will break side by side in the Grade 2 finale on Sunday.

The Challenge Championship is one of three major stakes on an 11-race program that starts at 1:30  p.m. Central. The program also will feature five trial races for the Grade 2 Heritage Place Derby on May 28.

But the main event on Sunday is the Oklahoma Challenge Championship. Stolis Winner, a 5-year-old who ranks as the all-time leading earner among Quarter Horses, will break from post 3 in the 440-yard race. To his immediate outside is Streakin Down, a multiple Grade 1 winner last year at 3 who in his first start against Stolis Winner edged him by a head in the trials April 24.

They are part of a 10-horse field, and the winner Sunday will earn a berth into the Grade 1, $350,000 Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos on Oct. 29. That race is the centerpiece of the annual Challenge Championships card, which matches top horses in a series of divisional races. Remington on Sunday has three other qualifiers for the Challenge Championships, chief among them the $50,000 Oklahoma Distaff Challenge for fillies and mares at 400 yards, and the Grade 3 Red Cell Distance Challenge.

Streakin Down should go favored in the Oklahoma Challenge Championship. He won his trial in 21.00 seconds on a sloppy track, lowering the mark of 21.06 that Chances Are I Wil established in 2008, when he won the Grade 1 Remington Park Championship. Streakin Down led throughout in his trial, holding off a fast-closing Stolis Winner, who covered the distance in 21.03.

Whether the horses appear poised to fire the same colossal race back is one of the biggest questions heading into the Oklahoma Challenge Championship. Eddie Willis trains Streakin Down, while Heath Taylor trains Stolis Winner.

Jimmy Brooks will ride Streakin Down, the winner of last year’s Heritage Place Derby at Remington and Texas Classic Derby at Lone Star Park. Earlier this meet, Streakin Down ran second in two different stakes won by Louisiana Senator, who is the nation’s top older horse, according to a poll conducted by the American Quarter Horse Association.

Jacky Martin has the mount on Stolis Winner, an earner of $2,172,599 who will be making his third start off a layoff Sunday.