Spit Curl Diva Favored in Merial Distaff Challenge Championship

November 16, 2010

Spit Curl Diva, who is coming off a win against male rivals including Stolis Winner in the Refrigerator Handicap (G1), is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Friday's $125,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) at Fair Grounds Race Course. The 400-yard race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, is part of the 18th Bank of America Racing Challenge Championships, the season-ending championship event of AQHA's purse and bonus awards program.

Jody Brown trains Spit Curl Diva, who races for the Lepic-Morgan Partnership and is ridden by Brown's husband, David. The 4-year-old daughter of Spit Curl Jess will break from post 7 in the field of 10.

“I love it,” Jody Brown said about the post. “I don't really know the Fair Grounds; I don't know the track that well. I was hoping for the middle, so I was very pleased with the seven hole.”

Spit Curl Diva has won seven of eight races in 2010, scoring other stakes victories at Remington Park, Arapahoe Park and Prairie Meadows. The well-traveled runner, who already has a berth to the prestigious Champion of Champions (G1), is one of the equine stars of the Challenge Championships.

“She is probably my first experience with a true racehorse,” Jody Brown said. “She loves it. It doesn't seem to matter where we go, what we do. She's strong, doing well. I'm really looking forward to her doing well.”

On November 16, post positions for the Challenge Championships were drawn during a brunch at the track. The Distaff Challenge Championship starters, in post position order with their jockeys and morning-line odds, are:

Splendifferous, Cody Jensen, 10-1
La Jolla Suspect, J.R. Ramirez, 20-1
Jesstifiably Stoli, David Pinon, 7-2
Beautiful Ashlee, Larry Payne, 20-1
Little Surfer, Jerry Yoakum, 8-1
Sheza Bad Habit, Paul Greene, 4-1
Spit Curl Diva, David Brown, 5-2
Silk Mountain, Esgar Ramirez, 6-1
Tisa Dream Runne, G.R. Carter Jr., 12-1
Believers Gathering, Orlando Baldillez, 12-1

Merial, sponsor of the Distaff Challenge Championship, offers medications and vaccines to protect racehorses, pleasure horse, work horses and performance horses. The Distaff Challenge Championship is the 10th of 13 races at Fair Grounds with an approximate post time 8:54 p.m. Central time.

The Bank of America Challenge Championships will be featured for the first time on Horse Racing TV and available to the channel’s 17 million subscribers, as well as free to view on AQHA’s Q-Racing Video. During the “free weekend,” nonsubscribers will be asked for a valid e-mail address to access the site. Q-Racing Video will be free and open to the world from 8 a.m. Friday, November 19, through the evening of Sunday, November 21. BY AMY OWENS