Time For Jess Leads The Way in Southern California Derby Trials

The Apollitical Jess filly is the fastest qualifier to the December 18, $168,500 final.

Q-Racing Journal

Spackman Racing's Time For Jess won the first of four 400-yard Southern California Derby trials on Sunday. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Spackman Racing’s Time For Jess, a bay daughter of Apollitical Jess trained by Lin Melton, is the fastest qualifier to the December 18, $168,500 Southern California Derby (G2) at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Carlos Huerta and racing on a sloppy track, Time For Jess on Sunday defeated champion Ima Fearless Hero by a neck in the first of four trials. The filly covered 400 yards in :19.723 while earning her fifth win in 16 outs and pushing her bankroll to $241,689.

Time For Jess was bred in Idaho by Kelly/Yearsley Equine LLC, and she was coming off of a third-place finish in the 400-yard, $768,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) on November 6. Her season also includes a victory in the August 19 Adequan Los Alamitos Derby Challenge.

“She’s done everything I’ve asked her to do,” Melton said of Time For Jess. "She’s hearty, and she likes to run. The more I run her, the better she does. She’s not the type of runner that gets much out of a workout. She prefers the actual racing. As long as she enjoys it, we’ll keep racing her.

"There was a lot of moisture on the track, but I thought she would run well if she got away good," added the trainer. "I think Carlos Huerta fits her perfectly. He takes good care of her. He wraps her up and holds down to her. She likes that. The harder she pulls the better she runs. I think they’re a good team right now.”

Click here for a complete list of Southern California Derby qualifiers.

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