Track announcer John G. Dooley summed it up. It gives you goosebumps to watch the magnificent Danjer run. The world champion lived up to the hype in the Grade 1 $269,627 Bank of America Challenge Championship to close out the richest night of Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana.
Danjer, ridden by regular pilot Cody Smith, was forceful out of the gate and in just a few strides was on top of the field of 10 at Horseshoe Indianapolis in Shelbyville.
The six-year-old FDD Dynasty gelding was powerful in every stride as Smith sat motionless aboard him, never even thinking about asking him for more. Danjer moved away from the field, coasting under the wire by one and three-quarter lengths for his fourth-straight win.
Purty Darn Quick and Stormy Smith finished second over Apollitical Hero and Edwin Escobedo.
Danjer was the overwhelming favorite, paying $2.20 for the win. The victory in the Bank of America Challenge Championship was his 19th trip to the winner’s circle and he now has more than $2 million in career earnings from 31 career starts. Danjer is owned by Dean Frey, Downtime Enterprises LLC, and Billy Smith. Frey also bred the superstar and trains him. Smith has been aboard him for 13 of his career wins, including the past two Bank of America Challenge Championships, making him a three-time winner of the Grade 1 event.
“He’s one of a kind,” said Smith. “When you start riding him, you just don’t want to mess him up and let him do his thing. He slipped a little leaving, but it didn’t take him long to get his feet under him.”
Danjer isn’t done yet for 2022. His connections already have a schedule in place for his next race.
“We plan to take him to California for the Champion of Champions for his next race,” said Frey.
The Grade 1 $750,000 Champion of Champions race is set for Los Alamitos in November. Trials will be contested on Nov. 13 and it will mark the first trip to California for the reigning world champion.
One lucky racing fan made a trip to the betting windows thanks to Danjer. Katie Foster of Indianapolis was the winner of the $1,000 Megabet on the Bank of America Challenge Championship and selected Danjer for her wager and took home $1,100 in winnings for the wager.
The 20th season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis extends through Nov. 23.