07/09/2016 5:14PM

Forest Funds rallies to win Jill Jellison Memorial


Forest Funds rallied from well off the pace to capture the inaugural running of the $75,000 Jill Jellison Memorial Dash at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, where a six-day meet got under way Saturday with an 11-race card.

With Pedro Cotto Jr. riding for trainer Jorge Navarro, who was in from New Jersey, Forest Funds split rivals with about a quarter-mile to go in the five-furlong turf race before collaring Maggiesfreuddnslip in deep stretch and quickly drawing clear to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Harp N Halo was up late to be second, with Maggiesfreuddnslip third and Ruby Notion fourth in a field of seven fillies and mares.

Forest Funds, a 5-year-old Florida-bred mare by Forestry, returned $9 after winning for the eighth time in 19 career starts. She finished in 58.04 seconds over a firm course.

The Jellison honors the memory of the 51-year-old jockey who died last year from breast cancer.

Earlier Saturday, Dr Blarney ($2.20) was a 15 3/4-length winner of the $75,000 African Prince, a six-furlong race that drew just four other Massachusetts-bred 3-year-olds. Tammi Piermarini was aboard for trainer Thomas McCooey Jr.

Saturday was opening day at an abbreviated meet that includes two dates each in July, August, and September.