The Racing Journal Logo

Gentry in envied position in Distaff Challenge

October 27, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

It is good to be longtime American Quarter Horse breeder and owner Robert Gentry in the $125,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) on October 29 at Los Alamitos Race Course.

Gentry will have two of his homebreds – Fovee and Fredaville – in the 400-yard stakes for females on the Bank of America Challenge Championship program, and they each have proven to be solid stakes winners this year.

Fovee, by Cuvee (TB) out of Fodice (by First Down Dash), could be headed to a year-end championship title if she continues her winning ways. The 4-year-old returned from a 13-month layoff on August 19 at Los Alamitos and easily won the Merial Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge (G3) by 1¼ lengths for her first career stakes win.

The Adan Farias-trained Fovee then moved up to the Grade 1-winning level with a gritty win in the Mildred N. Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1). She stumbled at the start and rallied to prevail by a nose over Fall For It, with a quick :19.44 for 400 yards.

Also trained by Farias, Fredaville is also a championship contender after winning two stakes at Remington Park this spring and racing to five wins from seven 2011 outs. She then had a summer rest and before enduring a very troubled off-the-board performance in the Mildred Vessels.

Fredaville scored three wins from three starts at Remington Park – all against fillies and mares – with wins in the Decketta Stakes (G3) and the Merial Remington Park Distaff Challenge. She won the Decketta by ½ length and then rolled to a daylight win in the Merial Remington Park Distaff Challenge as the 3-to-5 favorite.

Benny Rossett’s 2009 champion aged mare Stylish Jess BR, by Feature Mr Jess out of Stylish Secret (by Dash For Cash), is always dangerous. The veteran mare won the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship in 2009, the latest time the race was held at Los Alamitos. The Paul Jones-trained mare won the Charger Bar Handicap (G1) in January and then came back off a layoff to finish second in the Merial Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge. She crossed the wire fourth in the Mildred Vessels Handicap as the 2-to-1 favorite in her latest start, but was moved to 10th for interference.

Ernie and Brenda Wood’s homebred EBW Obsession, by Brimmerton out of Runaway Sweetheart (by Runaway Winner), has won seven of 10 starts, including each of her two races this year. The Trey Wood-trained mare came back from a 13-month layoff to win an allowance race at Lone Star Park on September 17 and then won the Merial Lone Star Distaff Challenge by ½ length as the 9-to-5 favorite.

EBW Obsession was one of the most promising juveniles at Ruidoso Downs back in 2009 when she won each of her four starts, including the John Deere Ruidoso Downs Juvenile Challenge (G3) and her All American Futurity trial.

Wood is also represented by Lucky Charm Racing’s Features Lucky Charm, by Feature Mr Jess out of Las Alamitos (by First Down Dash). She won the Merial Ruidoso Downs Distaff Challenge by a game head as a 20-to-1 longshot.

Hugo Sierra’s Corona For You, by Corona For Me out of My First Twist (by First Down Dash), has matured into a consistent stakes performer with a win in the Merial Arapahoe Park Distaff Challenge and then placing in a pair of stakes, the Arapahoe Park Express and then the La Mariposa Stakes (G3) during the New Mexico State Fair.