My Heart Jess Runs rallies to upset score in 50th running of $237,763 Shue Fly
Thoroughbred stakes quadruple-header on Sunday headlined by $100,000 Riley Allison Derby
My Heart Jess Runs earned the biggest stakes win of her career Saturday afternoon at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, rallying in the final yards to capture the 50th running of the $237,763 Shue Fly, a restricted Grade 2 event for New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds.
Under one of the current meet’s leading quarter horse riders Mario Delgado, My Heart Jess Runs was always in contention after a smart getaway from the starting gate, then got going in the final yards to overtake Wood Dee Queen in the shadow of the finish line to win by a neck. The daughter of Jess a Chicks, owned by Boydston Enterprises, Inc. and trained by Sunland Park’s leading conditioner James J. Gonzales III, My Heart Jess Runs ran the 400 yards in a final time of 19.37 seconds, earning a 104 Equibase Speed Index.
My Heart Jess Runs was a winner of a trial race held here on Jan. 7, her first victory since breaking her maiden last July at Ruidoso Downs. She has now won three times from seven lifetime starts. The winner’s share of the Shue Fly purse pads her career earnings to more than $116,000. Sent off at odds of 11.90-to-1, My Heart Jess Runs returned $25.80 to win. Wood Dee Queen, ridden by Sergio Becerra, Jr., held on for second. The $2 exacta with the top two finishers returned $192.60.
Flashtoglory finished third, with Mires A La Luna rounding out the top four finishers.
Wahine, sent off as the second choice in the wagering at odds of 2-to-1, lost all chance at the break when she stumbled at the start before finishing seventh under jockey Jacob Enriquez. Post time favorite Flash Divine was never a factor and finished fifth at odds of 16-10 under jockey Noe Garcia, Jr.
Morning line favorite First Lady on Canvas was scratched earlier in the day.
A nine-race, all-thoroughbred card on Sunday features four stakes races, headlined by the 59th running of the $100,000 Riley Allison Derby.
The first steppingstone race on the road to the $500,000, Grade 3 Sunland Derby on March 26, the Riley Allison Derby features a field of 10 3-year-olds set to race one mile.
Installed as the 5-to-2 morning line favorite is J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s How Did He Do That, coming off a fifth-place finish in his most recent start, the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the Kentucky-bred son of Good Magic won the Zia Juvenile Stakes last November at Zia Park and has earnings near $96,000 having won twice from seven career starts.
The Riley Allison Derby will go as the ninth and final race on the card with a post time scheduled for 4 p.m.
Also on the Sunday card are the $100,000 Jamison Memorial Handicap, as well as the 25th running of the $65,000 Borderplex Stakes and the $75,000 Ft. Bliss Stakes. First post for the Sunday card is 12:25 p.m.