Spit Curl Diva Game Victor in Merial Distaff Challenge Championship

November 19, 2010

Spit Curl Diva was a game favorite in the $125,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1), holding off a charging Believers Gathering by a nose.

Spit Curl Diva, ridden by David Brown, ran the 400 yards in :19.767 to earn a 107 speed index. The mare led throughout. This is her 16th victory in 29 starts, and her eighth win in nine starts this year. The $57,500 winnings boosted her lifetime earnings to $695,938. In her previous start, she defeated males in the Refrigerator Handicap (G1).

“In the final strides she was getting a little tired, but she gave me her all and got it done,” said her jockey. “I think the sand in this track just got her a little tired.

“I’m really looking forward to (the Champion of Champions),” Brown continued. “You only get to ride a horse like this once in your lifetime. I think this race sets her up perfectly for the Champion of Champions.”

Spit Curl Diva is owned by Thomas Lepic, who last month bought out his partners for sole ownership in the mare. The 4-year-old mare is trained by Jody Brown.

Spit Curl Diva is by Spit Curl Jess out of the Some Dasher mare Some Kinda Diva. She was bred in Oklahoma by Little Deer Creek QH.

“David said she labored a little bit at the end so that’s why it was close,” said Lepic. “But a win is a win. You don’t win every race by a length or two. With a race like this, you just want to win. This horse was meant to do that. It was great.

“She’s now won at five different tracks in five different states at five different distances,” he continued. “It’s been an unbelievable year for her.”

The 37-1 longshot Believers Gathering just missed. The homebred mare racing for Walter Fletcher was ridden by Orlando Baldillez.

“My mare ran her eyeballs out,” Baldillez said. “She ran a great race. We can’t take nothing from her (Spit Curl Diva), she just beat us. My mare ran her race.”

Sheza Bad Habit was third, a head back. She was followed by Silk Mountain, Splendifferous, Tisa Dream Runne, La Jolla Suspect, Little Surfer and Beautiful Ashlee. Jesstifiably Stoli fell out of the gate. According to track veterinarian Dr. Tom David, the mare suffered injuries to her pelvis and spinal cord and had to be euthanized. Jockey David Pinon was uninjured.

Spit Curl Diva on Monday will head to Los Alamitos to prepare for the December 11 Champion of Champions (G1).