Jess Leaving Fast, Droff Take Retama Challenge Races

Two Challenge Championship berths were on the line on Saturday.

Q-Racing Journal

Jess Leaving Fast and Droff earned Challenge Championship berths at Retama Park on Saturday.

Jess Leaving Fast, a bay son of Heza Fast Dash owned by Double H Racing Investment LLC, led at every call en route to a three-quarter length victory in Saturday's $95,220 John Deere Retama Juvenile Challenge Stakes at Retama Park.

Trained by Santiago Riojas Jr., Jess Leaving Fast covered 350 yards in :17.518 and earned a 105 speed index while racing against a reported 16-mph head wind. Nestor Duran rode the colt, who landed a berth in the November 17, $130,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos.

Jess Leaving Fast was bred in Texas by Bob and Jerry Gaston. The colt is out of Jessa Leaving You, an unraced 10-year-old daughter of 1994 champion 2-year-old Mr Jess Perry. His second dam, the Easily Smashed mare Lil Bit Rusty, was a multiple graded stakes winner and a finalist in the 1988 Rainbow Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

Jess Leaving Fast has won two of four starts and has banked $49,981.

Wii B, This Guys A Volcom, Your Favorite Lady, FM Cartel Rock, Fmcantttemptthisrock, FM Im A Zatanaz Too, Why Nott Me, and Im Sporting Rock completed the order of finish. Paint Me A Sinner was scratched.

Also on Saturday, Luis Vivanco rode 3-5 favorite Droff to a three-quarter length win in the 400-yard, $46,260 Adequan Retama Derby Challenge Stakes for 3-year-olds.

A homebred son of champion Fdd Dynasty owned and trained by Jorge Haddad, Droff stopped the timer in :19.965 while racing against a reported 16-mph head wind. The sorrel gelding banked $21,280 winner's share of the purse and earned a spot in the November 17 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G3) at Los Alamitos.

Droff was bred in Texas. Raced in Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana, the gelding has won four of 11 races and has earned $45,426, of which $40,306 has been pocketed this season. His season resume includes a second-place finish in the May 11 Old South Derby at Delta Downs.

Mystical Jess finished second and was followed by Lions Express, Syms Tlc, Sweet Fittin Jeans, Tempting Mary, Nailed It, Salados Man, and Jlc Rustysspecialpie. Hidden Cartel was scratched.

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