Jorge Navarro’s One Prompt JJ, a winning machine in Idaho with five wins from her first seven career starts, enjoyed her first victory at Los Alamitos thanks to a powerful finish in the $15,000 Florentine Handicap for sophomore fillies on Friday night.
Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, the daughter of Jesse James Jr was third at the start of the 330-yard race, but she took off from there on the way to a half-length victory over four-time winner Who Is Sylvia. Bred by Mark and Peggy Brown, One Prompt JJ covered the distance in :16.946 while earning her sixth win in 11 career starts.
One Prompt JJ was one of the top fillies at Les Bois Park last year. She won the $32,000 Idaho Cup Futurity and was third in the $40,000 Knight Transportation Futurity and fourth in the $150,000 Bitterroot Futurity. The filly made her way to Orange County for last year’s trials for the Wild West Futurity. She ran second in the trials, but missed qualifying to the final. She then ran third in the Corona Chick Handicap and was fourth in a trial to the Los Alamitos Winter Derby.
“She came to my barn about seven weeks before the Winter Derby trials,” Flores said. “I wish I would have been able to run her once before the derby trials. I didn’t know much about it and she was still settling in. She got a little nervous in the paddock. She was a lot better tonight. She didn’t break that good, but she still left rolling. She finished impressively. I think she’ll get better and better and she likes the distance. We’ll run her once or twice more and hopefully in some handicap races. We’ll probably give her a break from there before bringing her back. I think she’ll be a lot better as the year goes on.”
One Prompt JJ earned $8,250 for the win to take her lifetime earnings to $50,309.
“She behaved better tonight than (in the Winter Derby trials),” said Cruz Mendez, the track’s leading Quarter Horse jockey. “We worked a lot with her in the gates. She was a little nervous the last time, but she was a lot better tonight. She was acting nice when gates opened.”
Ed Allred’s Who Is Sylvia earned $3,375 for running second in this race. She was ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Scott Willoughby. Double Bar S Ranch LLC’s Jess Cuz hit the board in her stakes debut, earning $1,875 for running third. Laters Baby, Its Tempting and The Perfect Love completed the field.