Jess Bein The Hero Tops Bank of America Texas Challenge Qualifiers

The 5-year-old Valiant Hero stallion is the fastest qualifier to the April 21 final.

Q-Racing Journal

Jess Bein The Hero won the first of two Bank of America Texas Challenge trials on Saturday. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Juan F. Martinez-Labastida's Jess Bein The Hero, a 5-year-old stallion by Valiant Hero trained by Josue Ponce, is the fastest qualifier to the April 21, $67,680 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship (G2).

Racing in the first of two 440-yard trials on Saturday, Jess Bein The Hero defeated RC Me Leaving You by a half of a length in :21.731 against a reported 12-mph head wind. Jorge Linares rode the stallion, who was making his first start since December 16.

Jess Bein The Hero was bred in Texas by Curtis Crenwelge, and he has won his last three starts, including a pair of stakes during the Evangeline Downs fall meet. All told, he has won eight of 11 outs, including five stakes, and he has banked $112,953.

RC Me Leaving You is trained by Jimmy Padgett for owners Bennie and Terri Jeter. The 6-year-old Coronas Leaving You stallion was also making his season debut, as he was coming off of a Lone Star Park fall campaign during which he won two stakes.

Click here for a complete list of qualifiers.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.