Check N Fetch made her case as the top mare in the country with a victory in the $100,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) on Saturday at Los Alamitos to give trainer Paul Jones a sweep of the exacta. Under jockey Ramon Sanchez, Check N Fetch earned her second straight Grade 1 win as she prevailed by a nose over stablemate Thisfeatureisspecial.
Owned by Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez and bred in California by Mr. and Mrs. L. Judd Morse, Check N Fetch ran the 400 yards in :19.689 and earned $46,000 for the win. This marked the 5-year-old mare’s sixth win in 10 starts this year and fifth against stakes company, adding to her wins in the Mildred N. Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1), Miss Princess Handicap (G3), California Breeders’ Matron Stakes (RG3) and Independence Day Handicap. She was actually defeated by Thisfeatureisspecial in the Merial Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge (G3) but turned the tables on that one for the big money. Check N Fetch, by Check Him Out, has now earned a total of $235,812 in her career.
Mauro Eli Zaborowsky’s Thisfeatureisspecial, a 6-year-old daughter of Feature Mr Jess who finished second in the Charger Bar Handicap (G2) and a close fourth behind Check N Fetch in the Mildred Vessels, put in a strong effort to finish second. Shez Jess Toxic, who runs for her breeder and trainer Dean Frey, closed to take third.