LARC NEWS Posted: 11/19/2017 1:09:54 AM

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         Lesley Joyner’s homebred Jesstacartel proved that he’s the real deal after scoring his fourth straight victory – second in a row in a stakes race – while defeating a field that included the previously undefeated Chowchilla Chickadee in the $20,000 Corona Chick Handicap at 400 yards on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Mark Skeen, Jesstacartel knocked into a rival early on, but that didn’t bother the son of One Sweet Jess. The Utah-bred quickly found his stride, accelerated to the front of the pack, and then blew away the competition in route to a 2 ¼ length victory. Sent off at 2-1 odds, Jesstacartel covered the distance in :19.933 and has now won at 300, 330, 350, and 400 yards during his winning streak.

Joyner has enjoyed stakes success in the past, as her Chicks Beduino gelding Memories To Keep won the Grade 2 Bitterroot Futurity in 2001 at Les Bois Park. Memories To Keep then traveled to Los Alamitos and finished second in that year’s Corona Chick Handicap and third in both the John Deere California Juvenile Challenge and The Quarter Racing Journal Stakes. Joyner has also been in stakes competition at Los Alamitos with Wild Man Ronnie in 2007 and Liz An The Boys in 2008, but it’s Jesstacartel that has taken her racing operation to a top level at the Orange County oval. Prior to winning the Corona Chick, Jesstacartel outdueled Summertime Favorite by a neck to win the Autumn Handicap at 350 yards on October 14.   

“My wife is a horse lover her whole life and we’re good friends with Mark Skeen and his sister, Fawna Knight,” said former Major League Baseball star Wally Joyner, who was on hand at Los Alamitos to accept the Corona Chick trophy. “We’re good friends with them. Fawna has some really nice racehorses, (like) Worth Doing (who) won the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last year. Fawna and Lesley are great friends. They’ve been in the business for a long time.

“Jesstacartel is fun to watch,” he added. “This one is special because we own the mom (Stolmecartel), we bred the mom, and Mark raised Jesstacartel. He’s been with us from the day (Jesstacartel) was born. To see him mature and to see him race is definitely exciting.”

Wally Joyner played 16 years in the big leagues, including the first six years of his MLB career with the then California Angels, now Los Angeles Angels.       

Jesstacartel earned $11,000 for the win to take his career earnings to $37,700. He’s won four of five career starts with his only loss being a fifth place finish in his debut when he bumped at the start.

Omar Placencia’s Perfect Az Can Be, a Kindergarten Futurity finalist and fourth in the Autumn Handicap, finished second in this race. Ridden by Eddie Garcia for trainer Kristen Watanabe, Perfect Az Can Be broke out and bumped at the start of this race before flying late to run second. Bred by Las Vegas Ranch, the Texas Icon filly earned $4,500 for her effort.

 Bill Absher and Leland Decker’s Chowchilla Chickadee, the 2-5 favorite in this race, hit the side of the gate at the start and trailed the entire field early on. She picked up speed at the midway point, but by then Jesstacartel was far ahead of the competition. The Foose filly earned $2,500 in her stakes debut. This was her first loss after three sensational victories to begin her racing career. Cesar De Alba piloted her for trainer John Cooper. Hard Headed Chick, fourth in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, and California Blossom completed the field.

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