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Distaffers ready for Northwest Challenge

May 5, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

AQHA, May 5 – Gary Messenger and Les Barlow’s Sign Of Pride, who raced in the 2005 Distaff Challenge Championship as a sophomore, tries to earn a return trip to that Grade 1 race when she starts Sunday, May 7, in the $23,600 John Deere Northwest Distaff Challenge at Sun Downs in Kennewick, Washington.

Sign Of Pride (First Wrangler-Traced With Pride, Noble Pride) won five straight races in 2005, including the Idaho Cup Derby. In her sole 2006 start she finished third in a Sun Down’s allowance race for trainer John Harris.

Veral Hodges’ Kipas Flit (Count Corona-Easy Kipa, Kipadeucy) comes off a track-record win in :17.58 for 350 yards while defeating Sign Of Pride. The A.L. Homer-trained 3-year-old won the Sun Downs allowance race after finishing second and third in her two previous 2006 races, allowances at Portland Meadows.

Cody Allred and Carl Polson’s Sheza Jo Baby Jo (Proudest Effort-Keeper Secret, Raise A Secret) is making her first start since finishing second in the Diamond Classic Derby on August 20. She is trained by Terrill Gibbs.

The winner of Sunday’s John Deere Northwest Distaff Challenge receives the first invitation to the $100,000 John Deere Distaff Challenge Championship (G1), which will be held November 11 at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.

For more information about American Quarter Horse racing or the MBNA America Racing Challenge, visit