Fredaville Gets Another Chance in Merial Distaff

Last year's runner up will try to win it all in Saturday's Merial Distaff Challenge Championship.

Q-Racing Journal
October 23, 2012

Robert Gentry’s classy homebred Fredaville gets a second chance to win the $125,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) on Saturday night at Prairie Meadows after finishing second in last year’s running at Los Alamitos.

The Merial Distaff Challenge at 400 yards is the spotlight race for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares on the Bank of America Challenge Championship program with more than $1 million in purses spread over the six primary races.

Fredaville (Mr Jess Perry-Fearless Freda by Dash For Cash) won a pair of Merial Distaff Challenge races this year and ranks as the mare to beat in the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship. She won the May 6 Merial Remington Distaff Challenge for trainer Clint Crawford and then took the August 18 Merial Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge (G3) under the tutelage of trainer Juan Aleman.

Back in the Midwest and in the Crawford barn for the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship, Fredaville is having one of her best seasons as a 6-year-old. Beyond her two regional Merial Distaff Challenge wins, she was second in the May 26 Juno Request Stakes (G2) at Remington Park and third in the September 30 Mildred Vessels Handicap (G1) as the 6-5 favorite in her latest start.

The stalwart Fredaville has 10 wins, eight seconds and seven thirds from 34 career starts while competing against Grade 1 stakes company since she was a 2-year-old.

While Fredaville is making her Prairie Meadows debut, Tommy Hays and Bobby Barnett’s Painted Sable (PYC Paint Your Wagon-Sables Dash by Dash Thru Traffic) has the advantage of coming into the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship off a win over the Prairie Meadows track. The Ed Hardy-trained Painted Sable responded with a half-length win as the 6-5 favorite in the Merial Prairie Meadows Distaff Challenge on September 15. Painted Sable also won the July 8 Hill Country Stakes at the Gillespie County Fair in Texas and was third in the Merial Sam Houston Distaff Challenge earlier this year.

Jose Salazar’s Bertha Venation (Corona Caliente-Dash To Glory by Texigo Star) takes a step up in class looking for her fourth-straight stakes win. The Texas-based mare won a division of the $20,000 Selma Stakes and the $20,000 King William Handicap at Retama Park and then battled to a nose win in the September 28 Merial Lone Star Distaff Challenge as the 2-1 choice to earn her berth in the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship.

Official entries for the $125,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) will be taken and post positions will be drawn on Wednesday for the October 27 race.