An upset in the $60,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap topped the 11th annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival at
on Sunday as Geeky Gorgeous and Princess Perfect took the two other
stakes events on a day restricted to the best runners bred in the
Owned by Ramona Barney and trained by Ed Barney,
Sierra Ancha closed with a rush down the center of the track to top In
God’s Country by a half-length at
the wire. The runner-up claimed foul against the winner for
interference in the lane, but the stewards allowed the results to
stand. The winner returned $27.40, $12.20 and $6. In God’s Country
completed the $490.40 exacta and paid $15.40 and $6.20. It
was another neck back to Crafty Concorde, who returned $3.40 to show.
“I thought there was plenty of pace in the race to
set him up,” said winning jockey Shannon Uske. “I had a pretty good
hold of him the whole way and he
came running in the stretch. It’s so cool to win a race like this.”
A homebred 4-year-old gelding by Mo Mon from the
Evening Kris mare Cowboy Chili, Sierra Ancha has won three of 13 starts,
good for earnings $134,125.
Geeky Gorgeous, the lone filly in the New Jersey
Breeders’ Handicap, rallied down the stretch to post a two length win
for owner/trainer/breeder Daniel J.
Geeky Gorgeous covered the six furlongs over a fast
main track in 1:09 4/5 and paid $8.60, $4.80 and $3.60 and topped a
$52.80 exacta. Gunfighter checked
in second paying $7 and $4.80. It was another half-length back to
Saucy Don, who paid $7 to show.
“There’s a lot of great races all around the country
today,” said winning jockey Joe Bravo, “but I’m here because of this
filly. She’s really come around
and today was pretty impressive to do what she did against the boys.”
A 4-year-old daughter of Devil His Due from the Pure
Prize mare Thatholeinmypocket, Geeky Gorgeous has won seven of her 14
starts, good for earnings of $306,140
for her connections.
In the $60,000 Jersey Girl Handicap, Somraj Singh’s
Princess Perfect took command right from the start and never looked
back, reporting home a length and
a half winner.
Trained by Claudio Gonzalez, Princess Perfect went
the mile and a sixteenth over a fast main track in 1:46 1/5 and paid
$20.40, $6.60 and $3.60. First Acquital
completed the $117.60 exacta and returned $5 and $3.60. It was another
10 ¼ lengths back to
Elba, who paid $3.40 to show. Ima
Jersey Girl, the odds-on favorite and defending champion, failed to fire
and was eased through the stretch.
“I was told to see how she breaks and take it from
there,” said winning jockey Victor Santiago. “If she came out running I
wasn’t going to take a hold,
but just let her go. I urged her a little soon after the start and
then she relaxed nicely. From there she cruised all the way.”
A 5-year-old mare by Crafty Friend from the Better
Arbitor mare Cassidy’s Code, Princess Perfect has won three starts this
Live racing continues at
Park on Sunday, Sept. 22 – gates open 11:30, first post 12:50 p.m. The 2013 race meet runs through Sunday, Oct. 6.