Jess a Lil Bit More Wins the $62,760 TQHA Sires' Derby at Sam Houston Race Park

(Saturday, August 11, 2007) - Only seven of the ten fastest qualifiers took part in the exciting final of the $62,760 TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby tonight at Sam Houston Race Park. The field was reduced due to the late scratches of Diamond Tres Seis, La Jolla Maid and Shakeatea.

The only filly in the field, Jess a Lil Bit More, broke alertly and fired a big race to upset her six male rivals. The, a 3-year-old daughter of Mr Jess Perry is owned by Stephen N. Williams of Weimar, Texas and trained by Heath Taylor. Rider J. R. Ramirez guided the sorrel filly up the middle of the racetrack and won by 1 ¾ lengths, covering the distance of 400-yards in :19.985. Sent off at 5-1, the Arkansas-bred filly earned $25,104 for tonight’s victory and rewarded her backers with a win payout of $12.20. Taylor was in Ruidoso, New Mexico overseeing final training for eight 2-year-olds entered in trials for the All American Futurity this Thursday. His assistant, Greg Lofland, saddled Jess a Lil Bit More.

“We’ve had her about a month; she had some problems and her legs had swelled up,” said Lofland. “Our groom, Milo and I worked on her and we knew that if we could get her qualified, she would be really tough. She was the ninth fastest qualifier and really fired tonight.”

Bottle of Shine closed gamely for second under rider Jeff Jerman. Owned by Sylvia Shaw Pittman, Bottle of Shine was one of three finalists trained by John Buchanan.

"I thought I was going to catch up with (Jess A Lil Bit More); I really did,” said Jerman. “We were catching here, but she just out-broke us and got a jump on us leaving the gate. We didn't get out fast enough. I think we would have got her in just a few more yards. This was the first time they ran him in the rig and I think it really helped him out a lot. He'd been breaking kind of slow, but it really helped him tonight."

Buchanan’s other two entrants, City Class and Riddick, finished sixth and seventh, respectively and Riddick, who was sent off as the post time favorite, bolted shortly after leaving the gate.

“He got dirt right in his face and lost it,” explained rider Alfonso Lujan.

Live racing continues on Sunday, August 12 at 1:30 p.m. The 2007 American Quarter Horse Meeting runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through September 8.

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