Lara intended to use Rapidash when it was a Ponyta for the race, but got her arm injured when Ponyta threw her off as something scared it. Ash managed to calm down Ponyta, so Lara asked of Ash to ride Ponyta in her place.
During the race, Ash and Ponyta had a disadvantage, as Dario hired Team Rocket to stall the racers, plus Dodrio pecked Ponyta. However, Ash and Ponyta made a comeback, causing Ponyta to evolve into a Rapidash. When they won, Dario and Dodrio attempted to attack them, but Rapidash used Stomp to send them away.