Jesstacartel Seeks First Graded Stakes Win in Golden State Derby

The homebred gelding is the morning-line favorite in Sunday's feature at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

Lesley and Wally Joyner (second from right and right) pose with Jesstacartel in the winner's circle at Los Alamitos Racecourse. The homebred gelding is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in Sunday's Grade 2 Golden State Derby. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Jesstacartel, a homebred son of One Sweet Jess and the fastest qualifier, heads a field of 10 3-year-olds entered back in Sunday's 400-yard, $221,300 Golden State Derby (G1) at Los Alamitos.

Racing for Lesley Joyner of Mapleton, Utah, Jesstacartel is trained by Mark Skeen. The gelding has won five of his last six starts, including two overnight stakes and the second of two Golden State Derby trials on August 5, and he has earned $46,625 from seven races, all at Los Alamitos.

Jesstacartel drew post 6 and will be ridden Cruz Mendez.

Joyner, the wife of former Los Angeles Angels slugger and American League all-star Wally Joyner, also bred Jesstacartel's dam, the Stoli mare Stolmeacartel. An earner of just $84 from two starts, Stolmeacartel raced in 2012 and '13. Jesstacartel's granddam, the Corona Cartel mare Buena Cartel, never made it to the track.

“I went to the Los Alamitos Equine Sale with Mark Skeen and Fawna Knight, and I was looking for a horse by Corona Cartel,” Joyner recalled. “We came across this (2004) Corona Cartel filly named Buena Cartel bred by Paul Jones. She was small, but affordable.

"We bought her, but we were never able to race her," she added. "She was a little bit on the small side, but she was by Corona Cartel and out of Marmeta, whose family had stakes winners, so we decided to make her a broodmare.  We bred Buena Cartel (to Stoli) and got Stolmeacartel, who I like to call “Ella”. We sent Ella to St. George, Utah, with trainer Mark Skeen, but she just did not want to race. We ran her a few times, but she just didn’t want to do it. We tried a lot of different things with her with not much luck, but she was just this big, beautiful mare so we decided to breed her. That’s how we got Jesstacartel.”

“In his first out, he got bumped around from both sides,” Joyner said, referring to Jestacartel's fifth-place finish in a 300-yard maiden-special-weight dash on July 21, 2017. “We started him again and this time he was on the outside. He went super right at the start, but halfway through the race he started picking up speed and he won the race.”

Joyner said she made the late payment of $25,000 to make Jesstacartel eligible for the 400-yard Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) trials on October 20.

“If he continues to do well, we would have felt bad that he didn’t get a chance to run in the (Super Derby)trials,” she added. “In the trials to the Golden State Derby, that’s probably the best he’s ever left the gate.”

Jesstacartel's nine opponents in the Golden State Derby include A Political Lady, a homebred Apollitical Jess filly trained by Chris O'Dell for Parsons Ranch. A Political Lady has earned $117,546 from six races this year, and her five wins include a 1 1/4-length victory as the odds-on favorite in the 400-yard, $184,000 La Primera del Ano Derby (G3) for 3-year-old fillies on March 30.

A Political Lady drew post 3 and will be ridden by Eduardo Nicasio.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Jess My Kiss (Ramon Sanchez), 15-1
Moonie Blues (Jose Nicasio), 7-2
A Political Lady (Eduardo Nicasio), 9-5
Twenty One Gunz (Carlos Huerta), 20-1
Devil In A Blue Suit (Ruben Lozano), 30-1
Jesstacartel (Cruz Mendez), 8-5
Apollitical Stone (Jairo Rangel), 30-1
SC Vapor Trail (Jesus Ayala), 8-1
Perfect Louisiana (Cesar Franco), 30-1
Yashira Vista (Erasmo Gasca), 20-1

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