Owned by Spackman Racing and trained by Lin Melton, Time For Jess will join stablemate Maggie Durant as California representatives on Bank of America Racing Challenge Night after the sophomore filly defeated nine rivals to win the $45,180 Adequan California Derby Challenge on Friday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Carlos Huerta from post number eight, Time For Jess broke sharply from post number eight and then pulled away in the final 100 yards to win the Adequan California by a length over multiple graded stakes finalist El Compa JV. Bred by Kelly/Yearsley Equine LLC, Time For Jess covered the 400 yards in a time of :19.763.
Time For Jess and Maggie Durant will give the Spackman Racing team made up of Kelly and his son, K.C., with two outstanding contenders racing on Bank of America Challenge Night to be held at Los Alamitos on Saturday, October 29. Maggie Durant won the Merial California Distaff Challenge here on August 13. While the Merial Distaff final in October will be Maggie Durant’s biggest race ever, Time For Jess has previously been a major player in rich races at Los Alamitos. She finished sixth in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last year and also ran in the La Primera Del Ano Derby. Time For Jess had to endure troubled journeys in both of those races.
“She’s a tough girl,” said Melton, who’s trained for the Spackman since 1973. “She’s kind of a do wrong (filly) all the time, but we finally got her lined up. Carlos Huerta and I were very happy when she drew the eight hole. She’s run against the best and now she’ll run against the best again on Challenge Night. This filly is in the big night and that’s what we wanted.”
In scoring her fourth win in 13 career starts, the Apollitical Jess filly earned $20,782 to take her career bankroll to $144,909. Her previous big wins at Los Alamitos include a runaway victory in her trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and an allowance victory here two months ago.
“This filly has come down here and earned her way,” K.C. Spackman said. “It’s fun right now. Dad and Lin have kept (our racing program) going for 40 years. Lin is a high percentage trainer right here. We have a small stable, but we’ve had very good luck with Maggie Durant and we have this little filly here. It doesn’t matter how we do, we are having fun. We’re ecstatic. Time For Jess is our girl. Everything drew right. When she broke I knew that it was over.
“My dad, he’s the backbone,” he added. “I’m the baby and I just kind of keep the whole thing going. I’m a little louder than them two now, but 30 years ago I wasn’t. The bottom line is right now that we’re having fun and our horses are sound.”
Rancho El Alacran Inc’s El Compa JV earned $9,036 for his runner-up effort for trainer Adriana Aceves. Rodrigo Aceves piloted the Mr Jess Perry colt. La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Jess Good Reason finished third. The top three were followed by Little Talks, Timely Delivery, She Snows Shes Ivory, My Favorite Check, First Prize Luke, Volcoms Seperator and Fames Jess Sweet.