11/01/2008 11:00PM

Valid Message takes El Joven at even money

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Valid Message delivered as the even-money favorite in the $100,000 El Joven at Retama Park on Saturday night, when he closed from last for a length and a half win in the one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds. Top Cop held second, a length clear of third-place finisher Messy Marvin.

Valid Message ($4) broke on top from post 11, and settled in about five lengths off the leaders. He made a sweeping move on the final turn and into the stretch, and covered the distance on firm turf in 1:36.92. Curt Bourque rode the winner for trainer Ellen Williams.

The El Joven was the second career stakes win for Valid Message, who races for H and H Ranch. He also won the $75,000 Sunny’s Halo at Louisiana Downs in August.

The El Joven shared a card with the La Senorita, which was won by My Spanx ($12.80). The races are the two richest open-company offerings of the Retama meet.

My Spanx rallied into a strong pace set by Monica’s Skirmish, who led the field through fractions of 22.80 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.80 for the half-mile. My Spanx went on to cover the mile on turf for 2-year-old fillies in 1:35.50. She won by a half-length over The Cat Who. It was another three-quarters of a length back in third to Busy Mass.

Martin Escobar was aboard My Spanx for Poindexter Thoroughbreds and trainer Allen Milligan.