Saturday’s Dick Monahan Maiden Challenge Final was a big payday — for the winner as well as the lucky bettors.
Favored horse Ba Snowin Okies, ridden by Jose Beltran, proved to be a solid front-runner and won by 2 1/2 lengths in the premier race of the day as the Sun Downs’ race season neared the end of its run at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick.
The winner’s share of the $18,786 purse was $8,829.
But it was Favorite Hawk’s second-place finish with Louis Zacherle aboard that made for a good day in the grandstands.
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Favorite Hawk, a 25.5-to-1 long shot, paid $45.40 to place and combined with Okies for a $92.40 quinella and $291.40 exacta.
Fnf Bad Kitty was third in a pack with Hawk and Shenosshesfamous.
In the day’s other big race, Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa rode For Sweet Jess to victory in the Adequan Derby Challenge Finals by 2 lengths over Magic Moment Blues and jockey Connie Doll.
Sweet Jess, which started at nearly even money, led wire-to-wire and paid $4.80 to win. The winner’s share of the $25,380 purse was $11,675.
Magic Moment was a nice payout to place at $14.40, with One Runaway Opener edging DQ-Pappas in the House for third.
It was a busy day at Sun Downs, with a handle of $59,674, which doesn’t count wagers on the Kentucky Derby from the fans at the local track.
Doll got the win riding Jewel S. in the seventh race handicap. Jewel won by a neck over Isle Challenge and paid $8.20 to win. The front two horses finished nearly 6 lengths ahead of the rest of the field in the 6-furlong race.
A Tree Dash, ridden by Jose Madrigal, won an allowance for 3-year-olds and up with less than two wins. Dash outdueled Wanna Be Fierce with Eulicer Perez de la Cruz aboard by a neck and paid $11.60 to win.
Jacks Alright and Jake Samuels won a maiden race in the second event and paid $10.60. The Warden Nr and Jordan Hadley were second by half a length.
The first race of the day was a maiden special weight, won by Rukie Too and Connie Doll (paid $17.40).
In a pair of claiming races, Impulzive Kate ($3.40 to win) and Steel Blue ($8.20) found the winners circle.
Sunday marks the final event in the six-meet schedule, including the final in the featured Pot O’Gold Futurity.