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Just Jenda Ends Career on High Note

In the final start of her career, J. Larry and Cindy Jones’ Just Jenda went out a winner and re-affirmed her love for Monmouth Park by capturing the 65th running of the Grade 2, $300,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes, while A Brilliant Idea stormed home to take the Junior Champion Sunday at Monmouth Park.

Ridden by Terry Thompson for trainer Cindy Jones, Just Jenda rallied from mid-pack to collar odds-on favorite Malibu Prayer in the stretch and go on to a 3 1/2-length score. The 3-1 second choice in the field of five covered the one mile and 1/16 in 1:43 2/5.

It was the fourth local stakes win for Just Jenda who took last year’s Serena’s Song and Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks as well as this year’s Monmouth Beach.

The 4-year-old filly by Menifee out of the Pine Bluff mare Liberty School paid $8.00, $3.00, $2.20 across the board. Heavy favorite Malibu Prayer [$2.40, $2.10] held on for second in the stretch and capped a $16 exacta. Milwaukee Appeal was two lengths further back after rallying from last in the stretch to get third and paid $2.80.

“What a way to go out,” trainer Cindy Jones said. “When she works fast, she runs fast. She went :58 and four at Delaware the other day. She was on top of her game and the race just worked out perfectly. She didn’t have to chase the speed today, but could sit back and relax. This was a real tough field and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”

The Molly Pitcher was the eighth and final win of Just Jenda’s career from 17 starts. She’ll retire with earnings of $750,680 and, according to her connections, will be bred to Proud Citizen in Kentucky.

In the $100,000 Junior Champion Stakes, George and Lori Hall’s A Brilliant Idea rallied strongly from last in the field of nine for her first-career victory.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, the 2-year-old daughter of Afleet Alex ran one mile on the firm turf course in 1:35 1/5. A Brilliant Idea paid $8.40, $3.60 and $2.80 across the board.

Dos Lunas, sent of the 1.70-1 favorite, held on for second after setting the pace and paid $3.40 and $3.00 and completed a $28.00 exacta. Sleepless Dixie, who like the winner was trained by Kelly Breen, finished third and paid $2.60.

“To run first and third in a stakes is terrific,” Breen said. “Galloping out, she [A Brilliant Idea] was at the seven-eighths pole when the others were just hitting the wire. She’s obviously very talented. We would love to get her to Churchill Downs. I think she has the ability for the Breeders’ Cup [Nov. 5] and she showed that today.”

With her maiden score, A Brilliant Idea increased her lifetime earnings to $67,500. Her lifetime record is now 3-1-0-2.



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