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ARCADIA, CA – Trainer Andy Mathis’ Jimmy Blue Jeans invaded southern California for the first time with a show-stealing 15/1 upset in Saturday’s $150,000 Snow Chief Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
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Jimmy Blue Jeans broke from post 7 under Kent Desormeaux and settled into a two-wide pressing trip outside Ingest and behind Found My Ball, who posted opening fractions of :23.06, :47.60, and 1:11.86.
Wheeling out at the top of the stretch, Jimmy Blue Jeans took over once straightened for home and held off late bids from Ingest, Ferrariano, and the even-money favorite None Above the Law to win the 1 1/8-mile firm turf rote in 1:48.69.
None Above the Law finished a neck behind the winner and a nose in front of Ferrariano, with Ingest another 1/2-length behind them in fourth.
“I only spoke to the assistant (trainer) and he told me to just try to get him home and he’ll probably be forwardly placed and just try to enjoy the ride,” Desormeaux said. “That’s all he said. This ride started 2 or 3 days ago. I was a tour guide for the owners, I had to show them where to get licensed and everything, so this is a nice omen, I think it’s what it is.”
Big Talker, the 7/2 second choice, was fourth over Cargo. Found My Ball, Play Chicken, and Que Sera Sir Ralph completed the order of finish in the race restricted to California-bred 3-year-olds.
Jimmy Blue Jeans’ win was his first at the stakes level and second straight following a similar trip against optional claimers at his home track Golden Gate Fields. The gelded son of James Street improved his record to 6-3-0-1 with $143,646 earned for co-owners/breeders Perry Bruno and John Gezon and co-owner Robert Jones.
“This is the biggest race I’ve won yet,” Bruno said. “It’s like surreal, it’s so good, it’s like a dream. It’s a great feeling. I’m just a small guy who owns a couple of mares with my partner John Gezon. I’m from Salt Lake, John’s from Salt Lake, and our other owner is from Park City.”
Jimmy Blue Jeans returned $33.40 to win, $10.60 to place, and $6.80 to show. None Above the Law brought back $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show. Ferrariano paid $5.20 to show.
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