04/10/2011 10:04AM

Jess Tee Off outduels Evans Express in Sam Houston Quarter Horse Futurity


Jess Tee Off outgamed Evans Express to win the Grade 2, $600,000 Sam Houston Quarter Horse Futurity by a neck Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park. The race was the richest in the history of the track.

Jess Tee Off ($16.40) dueled with Evans Express throughout and covered 330 yards in 16.79 seconds. Rodrigo Vallejo was aboard for what was his fourth win in the Sam Houston Futurity.

Vallejo’s other wins in the Sam Houston Futurity came with Royal Shake Em in 1996, Azoom in 2004, and All American Winner in 2005.

“I thought he’d run big tonight,” said Judd Kearl, who trains Jess Tee Off. “He was the only horse to qualify after the 10th trial.”

Jess Tee Off, who earned $240,000, races for L.B. Ranch of Mission, Texas.

Special Royal Corona, the favorite, finished sixth.

The Sam Houston Futurity shared a card with the Grade 2, $152,800 Sam Houston Derby, making for the richest card of the Quarter Horse meet. Stones Puede ($9.80) led throughout for a half-length win over Royal Invasor in the race. Luis Vivanco rode the winner for trainer Yasmine Medina-Fierro.