11/13/2016 11:17AM

Red Hot Diva surges in stretch to win My Sister Pearl

Coady Photography
Red Hot Diva also won the My Sister Pearl last year and in 2013.

Red Hot Diva, given a perfect stalking ride by J.D. Acosta, won the $50,000 My Sister Pearl Stakes for the third time at Charles Town on Saturday night.

Red Hot Diva, trained by Ollie Figgins III, had closed ground to finish third in three sprint stakes going into the 1 1/8-mile My Sister Pearl, but settled just off the early leaders Saturday. She challenged three wide on the backstretch, wrested a short lead from Candy Man's Girl on the third turn, and then edged away in the stretch to win by two lengths.

Candy Man's Girl, who had defeated Red Hot Diva over a sloppy track in the Cavada Breeders' Classic at Charles Town last month, raced on the early pace outside Navy Ribbon, fought hard when challenged by the winner but could not keep pace in the stretch. She was nailed by a nose for second by the late-running longshot Romantic Cork.

Red Hot Diva, who was sent off the favorite for her 10th straight race, paid $6.20 and was timed in 1:54.86. A 6-year-old, she also won the My Sister Pearl last year and in 2013. She finished second in the 2014 running of the race for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares.

Red Hot Diva is now 14 for 31 in her career with earnings of $411,626.

Acosta is closing on his 3,000th victory in the United States. The native of Puerto Rico now has 2,992 U.S. wins and another 28 in his native land.