Maggie Durant Wins Merial California Distaff Challenge

Q-Racing Journal

The connections of Maggie Durant, including jockey Carlos Huerta and trainer Lin Melton, celebrate the filly's victory in Saturday's Merial California Distaff Challenge Stakes at Los Alamitos. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Maggie Durant, a homebred daughter of One Sweet Jess who began her season with four consecutive wins against claiming company, became a stakes winner for the first time in Saturday's $30,600 Merial California Distaff Challenge Stakes at Los Alamitos.

Campaigned for Spackman Racing and trainer Lin Melton, Maggie Durant covered 400 yards in :19.958 under jockey Carlos Huerta. The 3-year-old Idaho-bred filly banked $14,382 to push her earnings to $47,674, of which $42,687 has been banked this season.

"She's a little pro," Melton said of Maggie Durant. "She gets better and better. She's run one bad race in her whole life. She's game. She had a bad race on California (Breeders') Night and got knocked around, and we let her regroup and she came into this race really sharp. We didn't do much with her."

Melton added that Maggie Durant would likely race just once more before she runs in the $150,000 Merial California Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos on October 29.

Raced exclusively at Los Alamitos, Maggie Durant has won five of 13 starts, and he resume includes second-place finishes in the May 13 La Pacifica Handicap and June 17 Emma Bug Handicap.

Flyin Lion ran second, a nose behind Maggie Durant. Kissin Kate Barlow, Political Chick, Tallulah Moon, KR Cruisin Cartel, Shoulda Kissed Me, Miss Racy Fire, and Million Dollar Kiss completed the order of finish.

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