02/26/2006 12:00AM

Gold Medal Jess takes Los Alamitos Winter Championship

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LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. - Gold Medal Jess won his first major stakes in Saturday's $204,350 , earning an automatic berth to the $600,000 Champion of Champions in December.

Gold Medal Jess beat nine rivals, including Whosleavingwho, the winner of the 2002 Champion of Champions. An 8-year-old gelding, Whosleavingwho finished fifth and was retired by his owners afterward. He won 23 of 47 starts and $1,334,842.

Gold Medal Jess ($6.60) ran 400 yards in 19.47 seconds, finishing a half-length in front of Apollos Favorite. Like Frankie and Me finished third. Gold Medal Jess was ridden by Dennis Means for owner Joel Rod Pierce and trainer Bret Vickery.

A 4-year-old, Gold Medal Jess has won 7 of 22 starts and $164,041.