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Veterans in Red Cell Distance Challenge

The “good ol’ boys” Sheet Burns, with 72 career starts, and Vital Winner, with 46 lifetime outs, meet relative youngster Stone E Motion in the $125,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge (G1) at 870 yards.

Maclovio Regalado’s Sheet Burns (Okey Dokey Dale-Shes Alive And Easy by Easy Jet) is a well-seasoned 8-year-old gelding who is still in peak form with 870-yard stakes wins each of the last two years. He comes into the Red Cell Distance Challenge after racing to three consecutive stakes wins.

In his latest start he defeated the premier 870-yard horses in New Mexico with a three-quarter-length win in the $55,000 Herman Jefferson Stakes (G3) at Zia Park as the 11-10 favorite.

On the board in 41 of his 72 outs, Sheet Burns took the Red Cell Lone Star Distance Challenge two starts ago when he drew out to a 1 1/2-length win as the 17-10 favorite.

Debra Gotovac’s Vital Winner (Easy Winning Jet-Vital Investment by Vital Sign) has raced to 21 career wins and has graded-stakes credentials racing down the straightaway and around the turn. In the past year he has won or placed in stakes at 550, 660, 870 and 1,000 yards. He was also fifth in the 440-yard All American Gold Cup (G2) behind champion Noconi.

Trainer Brad Bolen has Vital Winner tuned up for the Red Cell Distance Challenge after the gelding dominated a 550-yard allowance race at Lone Star Park in his latest out.

Lori Harris’ 5-year-old Stone E Motion (SC Chiseled In Stone-Cystal Motion by Power Train) could gain favoritism in the Red Cell Distance Challenge with six wins in his latest seven starts while moving from the $5,000 claiming ranks to the stakes division. The William Harris-trained gelding won a trio of Grade 3 stakes over 870 yards at Remington Park this spring and dominated the Covered Bridges Stakes at Prairie Meadows by nearly five lengths in his latest effort.