Ann Jemima Takes Perseverance Stakes

Jockey Alex Baldillez Jr. picks up five wins on Hialeah Park card.

January 15, 2012

Lisa Joneson’s Ann Jemima, trained by Guillermo Valdivia and ridden by red-hot rider Alex Baldillez Jr., proved best after a rousing race-long duel with Iama PYC at Hialeah Park to prevail by a neck in Sunday’s first running of the $22,375 Perseverance Stakes for fillies and mares.

Ann Jemima, bred in Oklahoma by her owner, is a 4-year old mare by Country Chicks Man out of the Rare Form mare Mea Brick House. She was sent postward in the Perseverance as the 2-1 favorite and stopped the timer in :16.577 for the race distance of 330 yards.

Sunday’s victory was her second consecutive win at the meeting as she stretched out from an allowance win at 220 yards at Hialeah on Christmas Eve. She won for the fourth time in 18 lifetime starts and picked up $13,425 for her connections.

While the top two finishers were battling it out for the win, the goings-on behind them were equally eventful. Original third-place finisher Mary’s Corazon was disqualified after lugging in and placed eighth. After that change, the revised order of finish was Ann Jemima, Iama PYC, Eye Opening Favorite and a dead-heat for fourth between Kinky Boots and Jacis Flashy Girl. Before the race, First Time Favorite was scratched at the gate by order of the stewards when she became cast in her stall.

Meantime, leading rider Baldillez recorded his second “five-bagger” in two weekends to up his victory total to 19, five better than Brian Theriot and seven up on 2010-2011 riding champ Oscar Delgado.

The total mutuel handle for the 17th day of the 2011-2012 Quarter Horse season was $179,450 with live racing on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon witnessed by a festive throng estimated at 4,000.

Live racing resumes at Hialeah Park on Friday, January 20, with a new post time for the remainder of the season. From Friday forward through closing day February 19, first post will be at 2:25 PM ET. The racing office plans to schedule nine races on Fridays and 10 races on Saturdays and Sundays. The palatial South Florida facility will also be open for full-card simulcast wagering on Monday, January 16, with wagering offered on cards from such well-known tracks as Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.