Shez Jess Toxic, Illegal Smile Dead Heat in John Deere Juvenile

California-breds split rich pot in 2-year-old contest.

October 30, 2011

The photo-finish camera could not separate Shez Jess Toxic and Illegal Smile as the pair of 2-year-olds hit the wire together in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2). Shez Jess Toxic, with jockey Cody Jensen, and Illegal Smile, with Eddie Garcia in the saddle, covered 350 yards in :17.539 to finish three-quarters of a length in front of third-place finisher FDD Moon.

Shez Jess Toxic opened up an early lead from the rail but Illegal Smile ran her down to finish on even terms. Both horses earned $49,500 for the victory.

Illegal Smile, the 4-5 favorite trained by Adan Farias, came into the race off a third-place finish in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2), and this marked the fourth career win for the FDD Dynasty gelding. Owned by David and Ross Hinkins and bred in California by Vessels Stallion Farm LLC and D & L McMahon, Illegal Smile is out of champion and six-time graded stakes winner Blazin Fire, a mare by This Snow Is Royal. Illegal Smile has earned $126,330.

"He really impresses me,” said Farias. “I will talk to the owners, but I think we will pay him into the (Los Alamitos) Winter Derby."

Shez Jess Toxic stretched her win streak to three with the victory for breeder, owner and trainer Dean Frey. The filly by Take Off Jess began her career at Los Alamitos with a pair of runner-up finishes against maiden claiming company. She then shipped to Canada, where she won her trial and the final of the John Deere Evergreen Park Juvenile Challenge, both in track record times. Shez Jess Toxic is one of three stakes winners produced by the Victory Dash mare Dashing Fly Lady. Her earnings now stand at $66,508.

“It was real close,” said Jensen about his trip on Shez Jess Toxic. “I had (Illegal Smile) beat early, but I knew he was coming. She started to get a little tired, but Dean did such a great job bringing her off a layoff."

Owners David and Ross Hinkins also hit the board with third-place finisher FDD Moon, a colt by First Down Dash.

Chitchattin Memories, The Arrogant One, SW Count On Me and VGW Holland Classic completed the field.