Adore The Hero Scores 20-1 Upset in Inaugural La Fiesta Derby

The Valiant Hero gelding earns his first stakes win on Saturday.

Press release

Adore The Hero outran his 20-1 odds to win Saturday's La Fiesta Derby at Albuquerque Downs. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Sent to post at odds of 20-1, Adore The Hero earned his first stakes victory in Saturday’s 440-yard, $139,364 La Fiesta Derby at Albuquerque Downs.

Adore The Hero covered his quarter-mile trip in :21.497, and his winning margin was a neck from 19-10 favorite and fastest qualifier JM Country Man. Cipriano Vidana rode the Valiant Hero gelding for owners Jill Giles, Melvin Neugebauer, Dennis Jensen and Ezra Lee, and trainer Wes Giles.

Adore The Hero was bred in Louisiana by Francisco J. Garza, and he is the first starter foaled by Adoring Jess, a stakes-winning 7-year-old daughter of Mr Jess Perry. The fourth-fastest qualifier, he made his local debut with a fourth-place finish, 1 1/2 lengths behind JM Country Man, in the second of two La Fiesta Derby trials on September 8.

“We’ve always been high on this horse, and he put it all together tonight,” said Neugebauer, who indicated that Adore The Hero might be pointed to the 440-yard Texas Classic Derby (G1) trials at Lone Star Park near Dallas on October 20.

Adore The Hero has won two of seven starts while racing exclusively in New Mexico, and the $69,682 winner’s share of the La Fiesta purse increased the gelding’s earnings to $76,232.

Famouseagletime ran third, three-quarters of a length behind Adore The Hero, and was followed by Highest Return, Kitty Kiernan, Rainey Dash, O What A Night, One Famous Ribbon, Toretto, and Zenefit.

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