Fort Erie Runs Jackpot, Bonus Challenge Stakes

Ontario track offers three stakes for nearly $400,000.

October 13, 2012

Fort Erie Race Track, located in Canada just across the U.S. border from Buffalo, New York, presented three stakes on Saturday afternoon with the $170,335 Ontario Jackpot Futurity (R), $168,773 Ontario Jackpot Derby (R) and $40,828 John Deere Bonus Challenge Stakes at 870 yards.

In the Jackpot Futurity, Oklahoma shipper Hurri Cartel drew clear to a one-length victory as the 9-5 favorite with Tony Bennett aboard for trainer Clint Crawford. The Texas-bred gelding by Teller Cartel sprinted 350 yards in :17.66 and earned his second career stakes win.

Bred by Tammy Johnson and Jack Manning and owned by Nadia Marcoux and Crawford, Hurri Cartel kicked off his career with four straight victories, comprising two claiming races at Remington Park, the Fair Meadows Juvenile Stakes and a trial to the Speedhorse Futurity (G2). The gelding finished fifth in that final in his only defeat. Now a winner of five of six starts, Hurri Cartel has banked $119,739.

Richard Wincikaby and lessee DK Training Centre’s First Down The Track, a Utah-bred daughter of Corona Cartel who won the Princess Stakes Futurity (R) at Ontario’s Ajax Downs, finished second. Don Ito’s Ontario-bred Jesskissmytexas, a son of the Mr Jess Perry stallion Mr Jess Tex, rallied for third.

In the Jackpot Derby, 32-1 longshot ZZ Dynasty got up to prevail by a nose for jockey Scott Sterr and trainer Stan Webb. The New Mexico-bred daughter of FDD Dynasty earned her first stakes victory for owner Tom R. Bennie. The winner covered 350 yards in :18.10.

Bred by Paul Jr. and Paul Taylor III, ZZ Dynasty had a busy 2-year-old campaign with races in Ontario, Manitoba, Minnesota and Oklahoma, highlighted by a second-place finish in the Manitoba Speed Horse Futurity at Assiniboia Downs. As a 3-year-old, ZZ Dynasty picked up a pair of wins at Ajax Downs before scoring the biggest win of her career at Fort Erie. Her record now stands at 15-3-4-2 with earnings of $108,943.

Peter and Craig Spada’s Heros Valiant Lark, an Oklahoma-bred gelding by Valiant Hero, finished a game second. Two horses hit the wire together for a deadheat in third between Les Baker’s The FDD Map, by FDD Dynasty, and Ivy Lane Racing’s JJ Maxwell, by Planetary. Leanintoit, the 6-5 favorite and a winner of 10 of 11 starts, hopped at the start and finished fifth.

The Fort Erie card also featured the John Deere Bonus Challenge with Full Circle Racing’s Jesswatchme scoring a decisive 3 ¾-length victory going 870 yards in :46.94. This marked the 870-yard debut for Jesswatchme and resulted in the Feature Mr Jess gelding’s first career stakes win. Todd Kabel rode for trainer Greg Watson.

Bred in Arizona by Matt Fales, Jesswatchme had performed solidly on the straightaway with a record of 23-3-5-1 and more than $40,000 in earnings. This victory added another $21,231 to his total.

Diane Fryer’s homebred Im A Grand Believer got up to take second with First Down Planetary in third for owner Dylan Todd.