LARC NEWS Posted: 10/14/2017 11:17:26 PM

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          Owned and bred by Lesley Joyner, Jesstacartel posted his third straight victory while outdueling a strong field that included five top stakes juveniles in the $30,000 Autumn Handicap for 2-year-olds Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Mark Skeen, Jesstacartel broke nicely from post number four and took off during the second half of the 350-yard race on the way to a neck victory over Kindergarten Futurity third place finisher Summertime Favorite. A gelding by One Sweet Jess, Jesstacartel covered the distance in :17.571.

“Our thanks for Lesley and (former MLB All-Star) Wally Joiner, the owners of this horse,” said assistant trainer Holly Skeen. “They bred their mare (Stolmeacartel) and we raised this baby. He’s just so gutsy. He tries so hard. That (filly) tried to pass him at the end. This is a great group of horses, but he always works so hard. He’s been so much fun.”

It’s always fun when a horse win three out of four starts to kick-off his racing career like Jesstacartel has done at Los Alamitos. After a tough fifth place finish in his racing debut on July 21, Jesstacartel returned a month later to break his maiden by a nose on August 19. He improved in a big way from there, winning an allowance race by a half-length over a solid field on September 24. He was even better on Saturday night, as his rivals included Governor’s Cup Futurity finalists Knockout Jess and Effortless Effort, Kindergarten finalist Perfect Az Can Be, and Freshman Stakes winner Tustin Kid. Now with a stakes win as part of his resume, Jesstacartel will continue to look for handicap races this year.  

“He’s not paid until anything, but that’s what’s great about having these handicaps,” Skeen added. “There’s always somewhere to run him. We’ll see how he comes back.”

Jesstacartel earned $16,500 for the win to more than double his career earnings to $26,700.

Paul Jones and Thompson Racing, Inc’s Summertime Favorite earned $6,750 for running second, while Ed Allred’s Tustin Kid picked up $3,750 for finishing third. Perfect Az Can Be, McFarland USA, Indios Zactag, Effortless Effort, and Knockout Jess completed the field.

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