04/26/2008 12:00AM

Monterey Jazz by eight in Texas Mile


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Monterey Jazz was in command of the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile from start to finish on Saturday, strolling to an eight-length win before a Lone Star Park crowd of 15,249. He could be headed next to the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park.

The Texas Mile was one of four stakes on the card, with the races worth a cumulative $450,000.

Monterey Jazz ($3.20) was making his first start outside of California on Saturday, and was also making a rare appearance on dirt. He handled the variables with aplomb. Monterey Jazz easily moved to the lead following the start of the Texas Mile, and was allowed to dictate an opening quarter in 24.50 seconds, and the half-mile in 47.15. From there he cruised home, covering the distance on a fast track in 1:35.25.

"After he broke, the first turn, it was all over," said David Flores, who rode Monterey Jazz for trainer Craig Dollase. "He's just amazing this horse. He's doing so good."

Monterey Jazz's win margin was a record for the Texas Mile. Zanjero, making his first start since winning the Grade 2 Indiana Derby in October, finished second. It was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third to Beta Capo. Going Ballistic, Scrappy Roo, and Gold Wonder completed the order of finish Saturday.

Monterey Jazz will probably make his next start in the Met Mile, said Joe Masino, manager of Class Racing Stable, which co-owns the horse with A & R Stables. But, he said, the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap here May 26 would remain an option for Monterey Jazz.

Flores won the Texas Mile for the third time. He also won the race with Isitingood in 1997 and Dixie Dot Com in 2001. Monterey Jazz, who earlier this year won the Grade 2 Strub at Santa Anita with a Beyer Speed Figure of 108, earned $185,000. He has now won 6 of 13 starts and $532,740.

Tears I Cry takes Irving Distaff

Leading Cliff Berry guided Tears I Cry to a ground-saving trip along the inside after breaking from post 10 in the $50,000 Irving Distaff, a 7 1/2-furlong turf race for fillies and mares. Tears I Cry won by 3 1/2 lengths over My Three Sisters, while it was another head back in third to Emma Grace.

"She's all class; it's like driving a Cadillac," said Berry, who rode the winner for trainer Cody Autrey.

Tears I Cry paid $12.

* Timely Reflection ($12.60) relished the cutback to one turn for the $50,000 Richland Hills Farm Stakes, as she rallied for a 3 1/4-length win over favored Twisted Tale in the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies. It was another neck back in third to Ruffroundtheedges. Bobby Walker Jr. rode Timely Reflection for trainer Bret Calhoun.

* Lee’s Spirit ($53.80) was prominent throughout to win the $50,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge by a neck over Cape Town. Eguard Tejera rode the winner for trainer Bob Schultz.

* Handle on the 11-race card from all sources was $2,886,221.