02/10/2007 1:00AM

Jonesboro flatters Mom's Command


Jonesboro did his mom proud on Saturday, when he dominated the Grade 3, $100,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park. He won the first leg of the track's handicap series by 5 3/4 lengths and remains the lone stakes winner produced by Mom's Command, the champion racemare who died last week in New Hampshire.

Jonesboro ($10.80) broke on top in the 1 1/16-mile race, and comfortably led his rivals through fractions of 23.52 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.27 for the half-mile, and 1:12.43 for six furlongs. He was on cruise control in the stretch under Calvin Borel, and covered the distance over a fast track in 1:44.20.

Red Raymond finished second, 2o1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher More than Regal.

The win was the third in a stakes for Jonesboro.

"I think it was his best race," Randy Morse, who trains Jonesboro.

Morse said Jonesboro could make his next start in the Grade 3, $150,000 Razorback Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn on March 9.

Jonesboro earned $60,000 for the win, which was his sixth from 16 career starts. He has earned $277,885. Jonesboro, who races for Michael Langford, registered his other stakes wins in the $100,000 Sam's Town at Delta Downs in December, and the $75,000 Northern Spur Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn in 2005.

Mom's Command was the champion 3-year-old filly of 1985.