SELMA, TX—JULY 27, 2012—Jess A Comment and Jess Tee Off dueled to the finish in the first of two trials to the Adequan Retama Park Derby Challenge Friday Night, posting the top qualifying times.
The 10 fastest qualifiers will return to the Retama Park raceway on August 11th and vie for the winner's purse in the $25,000-added event for Challenge enrolled 3-year-olds and the chance to compete in the $200,000 Guaranteed Adequan Derby Challenge Championship(G1) at Prairie Meadows on October 27.
Under jockey Luis Ramirez, Jess A Comment held off a late charge from Jess Tee Off to win by a neck and set the top qualifying mark of :19.816 seconds, a 105 speed index over the 400 yards. Guy Hopkins trains the First Comment gelding for owner Michael S. Amburn.
It was the third career win in 10 starts for Jess A Comment, who was a finalist in the three futurities last season including the $1.1 million Texas Classic Futurity(G1) at Lone Start Park. Raymond Loup bred the sorrel from the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess Quick Fun. He has earned more than $80,000.
Jess Tee Off, who was making his first start since a second place effort in the Evangeline Downs Futurity last December, held on for the second fastest time of :19.854. L.B. Ranch, LLC races the Tres Seis gelding out of Jess Linda Tee, by Mr Jess Perry, who was ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo.
The lightly raced 3-year-old, trained by Steven Kearl, has been super consistent with a 4-1-0 record in six starts. He won the $600,000 Sam Houston Futurity(G1) in his second start and has earnings of more than $280,790. Marcus Smith and Charlie and Dixie Patterson are the breeders.
Kearl, who saddled five derby qualifiers, won the second trial with James Cordell's homebred Acorn In The Grove. Also ridden by Vallejo, the Oak Tree Special filly flew late to set the third fastest time of :19.975, a 101 speed index. It was her second win in 10 starts and pushed her earnings to $51,816. She is out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Sixes Ms Perry.
Cordell also qualified Skyy High Perry, a homebred filly by Stoli, in the eighth position.
For a complete list of finalists, times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys to the Adequan Retama Park Derby Challenge CLICK HERE.