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Joltin Jess Blazes in Crystal River Stakes

Gelding puts up possible world record time at 550 yards at Hialeah Park.

December 15, 2013

Glenn Graff’s 5-year-old gelding Joltin Jess, trained by Matt Frazier and ridden to victory by Shanley Jackson, left his eight rivals in the dust and well-beaten in winning Sunday’s $32,375 Crystal River Stakes at Hialeah Park by over two lengths in a possible world record time for 550 yards.

The son of Take Off Jess, who was bred in Oklahoma by Circle S Ranch Inc., broke sharply under Jackson, took command early and drifted out slightly in the late stages of the race but prevailed by 2 1/4 lengths over Jets Quick Fortune and stopped the timer at :26.033. If verified by AQHA, that would establish a new world record at the distance. That clocking was .063 faster than the :26.096 standard set by ICU Cash at Zia Park in 2011. It was almost a half-second better than the previous Hialeah Park track record for 550 yards, a time of :26.528 recorded by Riden With The King in 2012.

The victory allowed Joltin Jess to make amends for a disappointing end for him in the Orange Blossom Stakes on opening day November 29. In that race, the gelding crossed the finish line second, a neck behind winner Doyles Dashing Star, but he was disqualified for interference and placed ninth and last. Joltin Jess now has a career record of 22-8-4-2 with earnings of $176,036.

Trainer Frazier said he made some equipment changes after the Orange Blossom that seemed to make a difference.

“We tried a new bit, one that we hoped would give Shanley (Jackson) more control, and it worked out well,” Frazier said in the winner’s circle. “He ran well. We knew he could. He’s a heckuva horse!”

And Jackson agreed, “I knew he’d be tough if I could keep him running straight at full speed. That was the idea with the new bit and that’s how it worked out.”

The Crystal River did not go well, however, for Doyles Dashing Star, the 7-year-old mare who was looking to stay unbeaten in the 2013-14 Hialeah Marathon Series and win for the third straight time overall. She ducked in at the start, veered to the outside of the course and finished sixth, never a threat for the major placings.

After the top two, Joltin Jess and Jets Quick Fortune, Sheila Tequilla took third with Bucket List in fourth. The remaining order of finish was: Lethal Volt, Doyles Dashing Star, Sheza Fast Memorie, Call Me Sundown and The Granite Jewel. Eyeontheline was declared at morning scratch time.

Racing resumes at Hialeah Park on Friday, December 19, in what will be the start of a short two-day racing week. Hialeah Park will be dark for live racing on Saturday, December 21, as the iconic South Florida venue hosts international recording star Jose Feliciano for a special pre-Christmas concert. Live racing returns on Sunday, December 22, and the dark day will be made up with a special Monday program on January 6, 2014.