EG High Desert Farms’ Jess Hawk posted her third victory in a row while defeating a field that included Governor’s Cup Futurity winner AJS Anna Smoke and the highly regarded Apollitical Seven in the $25,000 Pat Hyland Memorial Handicap on Sunday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Yanet Rodriguez, Jess Hawk was bumped at the start of her race, but flew late to catch Apollitical Seven while winning by a head. Bred by EG High Desert Farms, the One Sweet Jess filly is out of the five-time stakes winning broodmare Merridoc Hawk.
“She’s the only filly I have out of Merridoc Hawk,” said owner Enrique Gonzalez of EG High Desert Farms. “Merridoc Hawk died, but this filly made her mother’s memory proud tonight. She ran a beautiful race. I have to give credit to the trainer, Yanet Rodriguez. She’s done a very good job with my horses. She’s a hard worker.”
EG High Desert Farms is currently the meet’s second leading Quarter Horse owner with 32 victories and the barn has enjoyed stakes wins from the likes of Jess Ravin, Dr Jess and now Jess Hawk.
“I have a lot of faith in this filly,” Rodriguez said of Jess Hawk. “I told my boss, ‘I like her. I like her.’ This was a tough field. We had to see what we had with her so I nominated her to this stakes and it looks like it turned out good.”
After finishing fourth in her career debut, Jess Hawk began her three-race win streak by defeating rivals in a race for $16,000 maiden claimers on May 27. She then defeated non-winners of two races in a conditioned allowance race by a half-length on June 25.
“She ran fourth in her first start and to get her a little bit more heart I dropped her down (in class),” she said. “I didn’t drop her much. I liked how she ran in that second out so we took our chances and ran her an allowance. We don’t have her paid to big stakes races so the Pat Hyland was a great race for her. We’ll keep looking for races like this one and we’ll take it easy with her. She should make for a nice 3-year-old filly.”
Jess Hawk earned $13,750 to more than double her career earnings to $24,285. Her mother, Merridoc Hawk, won the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap, Matron Stakes, Kaweah Bar Handicap and Florentine Handicap when named California’s top aged mare in 2010. She also won the Flare For Toby Handicap in 2009 while earning $219,912 in her career.
Juan Escobedo and Jaime Gomez’s Apollitical Seven earned $5,625 for running second. Carlos Huerta piloted the filly by Apollitical Jess and out multiple stakes winner Chalala. She ran third in the Ed Burke Memorial Stakes in her last start. Rod MacPherson, Jr.’s AJS Anna Smoke finished third while earning $3,125 in his first outing since winning the $388,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity on July 30. Favorite Quick Chick and Stelfast completed the field. Kiddy Up Cowgirl was scratched from this race earlier in the evening.