Red Hot Diva wins My Sister Pearl for third time
Red Hot Diva takes it. Photo by Coady Photography.
by Frank Vespe
For the third time in four years, six-year-old Red Hot Diva won Charles Town’s $50,000 My Sister Pearl Stakes for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares Saturday evening.
With J. D. Acosta in the irons, Red Hot Diva stalked the pace, grabbed the lead late while three wide, and went on to win by two lengths. Running time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:54.86. Longshot Romantic Cork rallied late to be second, while Candy Man’s Girl was third.
Red Hot Diva, trained by Ollie Figgins, III, won the My Sister Pearl for the second straight time and third time in four years overall. In 2014, she was second in this event to Down Town Allen.
Back on October 8, Red Hot Diva, Candy Man’s Girl, and Navy Ribbon were among the three horses contesting the $150,000 West Virginia Breeders Classics Cavada Stakes. That day, favored Red Hot Diva’s late rally fell nearly three lengths short, as Candy Man’s Girl emerged the victor.
But that race was contested at seven furlongs. With two additional furlongs Saturday, Red Hot Diva was able to rate closer to the pace — just a length or so off it through a half-mile in 48.94 seconds and three quarters in 1:14.69. Candy Man’s Girl, meanwhile, grabbed the early lead but was pressured throughout by Navy Ribbon, who actually had a head in front after six furlongs.
That worked out perfectly for Red Hot Diva, who confronted a weakened Candy Man’s Girl nearing the quarter pole en route to the win. Romantic Cork’s late rally from as many as 10 lengths back allowed her to put a nose in front of Candy Man’s Girl for second.
Red Hot Diva was bred in West Virginia by her owner, Naomi Long. By Devon Deputy, she is out of the multiple stakes-winning Melodisk mare Sweet Music. She has won 14 of 31 career starts, and Saturday’ score pushed her lifetime earnings past the $410,000 mark.