Challenge


Third Straight Stakes Victory On Friday For Juan Diaz and Victor Urieta With Blue Eyed Jane
Blue Eyed Jane, ridden by Victor Urieta Jr, wins the $102,382 John Deere Juvenile Challenge [G3] at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday evening.

Coady Photography
Third Straight Stakes Victory On Friday For Juan Diaz and Victor Urieta With Blue Eyed Jane

HOUSTON, TX–MAY 10, 2024– Trainer Juan Diaz, Jr. and jockey Victor Urieta, Jr. teamed up for their third consecutive stakes victory on Friday night's program at Sam Houston Race Park with Blue Eyed Jane.

Blue Eyed Jane, who hadn't yet broken her maiden, qualified with the ninth fastest time in the trials. But the two-year-old filly showed up in the $102,382 John Deere Juvenile Challenge [G3] finals for an impressive 2 3/4-length victory.

Urieta piloted the daughter of second-year-sire Tarzanito, leading from wire to wire, and clocked a 101 speed index in 17.529 seconds. Blue Eyed Jane's 350-yard victory paid $8.00 to win on 3/1 odds.

Owner David Martinez, who purchased Blue Eyed Jane for $16,500 in last year's TQHA Yearling sale, said, "I saw a lot of horses. (Buying a horse) is a process, and don't listen to anybody; just go with your eye and whatever your heart tells you."

The $47,096 winner's share of the purse more than covered the purchase cost of Blue Eyed Jane, who has $50,096 in career earnings with one win from three starts.

The winning connections of Blue Eyed Jane accept the $102,382 John Deere Juvenile Challenge [G3] trophy at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday. © Coady Photography

"We won this race five years ago at Retama Park, and we are so happy to win again," said Martinez. "There are no words to describe how awesome it is. I owe everything to Juan and his team.

Trainer Juan Diaz, who was all smiles, said, "When preparing for the finals, we do exactly what we do in the trials. We hope for a great break and that the jockey wakes up in a good mood."  

"Victor rode her perfectly. I always brag about our jockeys being a part of the success; only they know what they see up there," he said.

Valerie Moya bred Blue Eyed Jane in Texas out of Grade 2 stakes winner Blue Eyed Fance by Jess Louisiana Blue. She is a half-sister to AQHA supreme race horse and track record setter This Snow Is Cold.

Luis Vivanco was aboard Hogans Hero for her second-place finish in :18.986 seconds. The daughter of Valiant Hero has yet to break her maiden from two starts and has $22,476 in the bank.

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She ran well; finished up strong," said Vivanco.

Trainer Toby Keeton saddled Hogans Hero for owner/breeder Kevin Hogan. The Texas-bred filly is out of Tres Of Royalty by Tres Seis.

Hiclass Bonita, ridden by Oliver Martinez, placed third. The Carlos Turrubiartes trained filly has $12,238 in earnings with a 0-1-1 record from two starts.

Ivan Morales Flores bred and owns Hiclass Bonita in Texas. The daughter of Paint My Pilot is out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Lady Mimosa.

Run Nellie Run, Pirata Jess, Keep It Texas Royal, This Eagle Is Golden, Peppa, Beauty By Corona and Dna complete the order of finish.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.

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About Sam Houston Race Park
Operated by Penn Entertainment Inc., Sam Houston Race Park is Houston's premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles northwest of downtown Houston. The racetrack, which opened in 1994, offers a variety of attractions for businesses, group outings and families during racing and the off-season. The track is best known for its award-winning dining and features multiple areas for fans looking for casual to upscale dining options including its Winner's Circle Restaurant, Jockey Club, Luxury Suites and Pavilion Centre. For more information or tickets to upcoming live racing, shows and events, please visit www.shrp.com or follow on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tick Tok or YouTube.