Feature Hero Preps in Town Policy

All American Derby winners prepares for Champion of Champions.

Q-Racing Journal
November 1, 2013

Reliance Ranches’ All American Derby (G1) winner Feature Hero prepares for his start in the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) when he makes his Los Alamitos debut in the $25,000 Town Policy Handicap on Friday night.

Feature Hero (Valiant Hero-Illegal Feature by Feature Mr Jess) makes his first start since earning his Champion of Champions invitation with a 24-1 upset win in the $2.8 million All American Derby, the richest race ever contested for American Quarter Horses. Feature Hero fought fastest qualifier Bon Accord in the last half of the 440-yard All American Derby and prevailed by a game neck.

After finishing fourth in the 2012 $700,000 Rainbow Futurity (G1), the Eddie Willis-trained Feature Hero came back this year to substantiate his stakes credentials and finished second in the $253,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby (R), behind Brace For Bernal.

Feature Hero has earned $1,306,638 – mainly from his $1,180,784 take from the All American Derby – and has been on the board in 10 of 14 starts with four wins. His sole stakes win came with the All American Derby upset.

Owned by Denny Bowen, Susan Taylor and Jack Smith Farms, champion PJ Chick In Black (Desirio-Eddie Jym by Corona Cocktail) will be looking for a solid break and a clean trip in the Town Policy after troubled outings in her two latest starts. She was knocked around in her All American Derby trial and then lost her path in her Los Alamitos Super Derby trial.

Before those troublesome outings, PJ Chick In Black was sensational in New Mexico. As a juvenile, she won her first five starts before finishing sixth in the $2.4 million All American Futurity (G1) as the 7-10 favorite. Her wins included the $600,000 Ruidoso Futurity (G1) and the $251,346 New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2). Trainer John Stinebaugh gave her a rest after Labor Day’s All American Futurity and returned in the spring to win the $203,000 West Texas Derby (G3) and win four straight races before her trouble in her All American Derby trial.

PJ Chick In Black has earned $653,356 with nine wins from 12 starts, all in stakes or their trials.

Taking on the Grade 1-winning New Mexico invaders is Howard Nichols’ Jess Being Valiant (Valiant Hero-Jess Sass Me by Mr Jess Perry), second in the $233,000 Golden State Derby (G1) two starts ago. The Jaime Gomez-trained colt finished a neck behind Far Niente in their Golden State Derby trial and then again in the Golden State Derby.

Jess Being Valiant showed his potential last year when he won the Golden State Juvenile and qualified for the $1,041,000 Ed Burke Million (G1).