Jersey Justice surprises in $100,000 Hillsdale Stakes
Jersey Justice and DeShawn Parker were a bit of a surprise in a strong field of two-year-old Indiana breds vying for the title in the 17th running of the $100,000-added Hillsdale Stakes. The duo covered the six-furlong race in a time of 1:12.07 to take home the title for Owner Maggi Moss and Trainer Tom Amoss.
Starting from post four, Jersey Justice broke well from the starting gate but was no match for the quick speed of race favorite Its Just Fate and Rodney Prescott, who got the first call. Express Win and Jon Court rallied up along the inside to also get an early advantage with Jersey Justice sitting right in between horses down the backstretch. Once the field got into the turn, Jersey Justice and Its Just Fate continued to battle and found themselves all alone at the top of the stretch before Jersey Justice broke away and got a several length advantage, making it hard for the late closers to catch him. Jersey Justice rallied home to a two and one-half length win over Buck Dynasty and Malcolm Franklin, who proved to be the fastest from the back of the pack for second. Mo Money and Alex Contreras also closed in well to complete a longshot trifecta in the Hillsdale Stakes.
Jersey Justice was the third choice on the board, paying $18.40, $7.80 and $9.40 across the board for his win. The Jersey Town colt was a $10,000 purchase last fall from the Keeneland Yearling sales by Moss and has already brought in more than $83,000 in purse earnings this year.
“This colt was really good, he really did everything right today,” said Parker, who has more than 5,200 career wins to his credit. “Going down the backside when the outside horse came up on him (Its Just Fate) he wanted to take off a little and I had to ease him back just a little, but he did everything that was asked of him. I had never ridden him before and Tom (Amoss) told me to kick him out of there and see how he would be. They thought last time he might have gotten a little tired but he didn’t show that today. I actually had the opportunity to get on him the other morning. I just appreciate the opportunity that Tom (Amoss) and Maggi Moss gave me today to ride him.”
Amoss, a five-time leading trainer at Indiana Grand, has established all types of track records in the training category over the past four years. His record setting season of 2013 brought in 81 winners and purses in excess of $1.5 million. Amoss is once again among the top five trainers in the standings for 2017.
Parker is spending his first season on the Indiana circuit this year and recently shot up to the lead in the jockey standings. His win aboard Jersey Justice was his second on the day, bringing his tally to 80 wins. He also scooted over the $2 million mark in purse earnings, the first and only jockey to hit that mark this season at Indiana Grand.