Danjer Full Steam Ahead In $269,627 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1)
Danjer, guided by regular jockey Cody Smith, wins the $269,627 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

© Coady Photography
Danjer Full Steam Ahead In $269,627 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1)

SHELBYVILLE, IN–OCTOBER 22, 2022–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 ever 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. 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.

The winning connections of Danjer accepting the 2022 Bank of America Challenge Championship stakes trophy at Horseshoe Indianapolis. © Coady Photography

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 and trains the superstar out of Shez Jess Toxic by Take Off Jess. 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,” commented Frey.

The Grade 1 $750,000 Champion of Champions race is set for Los Alamitos in November. Trials will be contested Sunday, 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.

Runner-up Purty Darn Quick has 4 career wins with $177,282 in the bank. The stakes winning four-year-old is out of Now Margaret by Pyc Paint Your Wagon. Owner/trainer John Hammes also bred the gelding son of Jess Louisiana Blue in partnership with Tom Bradbury.

Trained by Jason Olmstead, third place finisher Apollitical Hero has five career wins with $154,495 in the bank, including the Prairie Meadows Championship Challenge (G2) in August.

Bred by Canadian River Quarter Horses, LLC of Oklahoma, Apollitical Hero sold for $55,000 to his owners Paul Luderman, Tom and Bill Maher and Richard Tobin in the 2018 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.

The remaining order of finish is His Time To Deal, Fly The Coup, Hey Our Money Secret, Df Storm Tales, Speed Dynasty, Dr Tool and Gias Fred.

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The 20th season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Wednesday, Nov. 23. Live racing is conducted at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with Thursday post times set for 2:10 p.m. A total of 12 Saturdays will feature live racing in 2022 highlighted by the 28th running of the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby and the 27th running of the Grade 3 $200,000 Indiana Oaks set for Saturday, July 9. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit

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