Time For Wine Dominates Merial Distaff Challenge Championship

The California-bred mare makes her return home a winning one.

Q-Racing Journal

Pete A. Scarmardo's Time For Wine was a clear winner of the 400-yard, $125,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos on Saturday.

Making her first start outside of Texas, Pete A. Scarmardo's Time For Wine outran her 8-1 odds to score a convincing 1 1/2-length win in the $125,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos on Saturday.

Prepped by Brian Stroud, Time For Wine went 400 yards in :19.777 and earned a 91 speed index under jockey Francisco Calderon. The 4-year-old mare by champion Mr Jess Perry was starting for the first time since July 9, when she ran sixth, 3 1/2 lengths behind winner Red Corona Warrior, in the $20,000 King William Handicap at Retama Park near San Antonio.

"A lot of the credit for this win goes to Leon Bard," said Stroud, referring to the trainer who conditioned Time For Wine in Texas. "I just shipped her out here and tried to keep her happy."

Time For Wine was bred in California by Vessels Stallion Farm. A $23,000 purchase by Scarmardo at the 2013 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale in New Mexico, the mare has won four of 15 races, and the $57,500 winner's share of the purse from her first graded stakes score pushed her bankroll to $89,293.

On April 30, Time For Wine sprinted to a half-length win in the $26,100 Merial Sam Houston Distaff Challenge, earning the mare a berth in the Challenge Championship.

"I knew from that race in Houston that she had talent," said Stroud.

Political Nonsense finished second and was followed by Flyin Lion, Wrap You Up, Getting Even, Sr Esmeralda, Maggie Durant, Kissin Kate Barlow, and L Bar D Sweet Fantsy. Shiner Blond was scratched.

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