09/27/2004 12:00AM

Jetinto Houston romps in Charles H. Russell Handicap


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Jetinto Houston ($10.40) was allowed to set easy fractions and had no trouble winning the $64,475 Charles H. Russell Handicap at Bay Meadows on Sunday.

Pressed down the backstretch by the overmatched Off to the Opera, Jetinto Houston led by a head through a 22.46 opening quarter. She began to open up on the turn, leading Pheiffer by two lengths after a 45.46 half-mile. She pulled away down the stretch without ever being asked, beating favored Christmas Time by four lengths in 1:10.27 in the six-furlong stakes for fillies and mares.

"I talked to Mr. (trainer John) Sadler this morning, and he said just to get her on the way. I threw a few little clucks at her in the chute and found myself on the lead," winning jockey Jason Lumpkins said. "I gave her a little cluck or two at the 3/8ths, but she was just doing it so easy that I just let her ramble."

The victory, worth $39,725, was her fourth in 19 starts and was the second stakes win of her career. Her lifetime earnings are now $279,131.