JESS MY HOCKS RETURNS TO WINNER’S CIRCLE WITH SOLID PERFORMANCE IN BANK OF AMERICA REMINGTON PARK CHALLENGE
Jess My Hocks made amends for his out of the money finish earlier this season in the SLM Big Daddy Stakes, going to the winner’s circle in Sunday’s Grade 2, $67,881 Bank of America Remington Park Challenge.
Owned by Tom and Kathleen McNally of Guthrie, Okla. and trained by Michelle Hurdle, veteran jockey Rodrigo Vallejo piloted the large gelding to a half-length victory over Big Eagle Gone. The 5-year-old Jess My Hocks rallied to take the lead just past the midway point of the classic 440 yards in a performance that was more typical of his efforts in Oklahoma City.
Jess My Hocks finished fourth on March 6 in the SLM Big Daddy Stakes, at the long stretch distance of 550 yards. While the result was somewhat disappointing to his connections, Hurdle noted that race was one her 1,300-pound runner needed to start his 2022 campaign.
“He probably didn’t have enough air in him for 550 yards. It’s not that he won’t be able to handle a distance like that down the road but getting back to 440 to 400 yards is better for him. He needed a race coming into the season off the winter and that was the one to get him started. That race made sure he had enough energy to move on to this race and others.”
Jess My Hocks broke well and then began to drift in over the course of the race as he cleared inside rivals to face off against Big Eagle Gone who started from the rail position. Once he could eyeball the runner-up, he bulked up for the rest of the challenge.
“We call him ‘Bull’ and he lives up to the name,” Hurdle said in reference to his size. “He’s always kind of tough. He’s a big boy and we’re proud of him.”
Jess My Hocks crossed the finish line in :21.729 over the fast track for a speed index of 90. Big Eagle Gone was game but could not hold off the winner. Apocalyptical Jess, the All American Futurity winner in 2018, finished third, a length behind the winner. The remaining order of finish was Fyre Wall (4th), His Time to Deal (5th), CR Appollitical Joe (6th), and Wieburg (7th).
The heavy wagering favorite at 1-5 odds, Jess My Hocks paid $2.60 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. He made $33,262 for the score to run his lifetime bank to $338,876. Bred in Oklahoma by the McNallys, Jess My Hocks is by Kiss My Hocks from the Take Off Jess mare Jess Charlena. The half-brother to Charlies Fury, who won the Mr Jet Moore Stakes against Oklahoma-breds on March 31, has a schedule for the rest of the Remington Park season.
“He will probably go to the Leo (April 30) and then hopefully to the Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship (May 28),” Hurdle said.
Jess My Hocks won the Leo a year ago, finishing ahead of Danjer, the eventual American Quarter Horse Association World Champion. “That was special last year,” Hurdle said. “He may never do it again but will be up to facing him again if it happens.”
This was the first win in the Bank of America Remington Park Challenge for all of the connections of Jess My Hocks.
Remington Park racing resumes Thursday through Sunday, April 7-10. The first race nightly is at 6pm, except Sunday, when action is underway at 4pm. All times are Central.
Tracked by more than 168,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $286 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park will feature the richest futurity for state-breds, the $925,000 (estimated) Remington Park Futurity on April 16. Simulcast horse is racing featured daily at Remington Park where the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.