Jessica's Star rallied from off the pace with a sweeping four-wide move to score his first graded stakes win in the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) at Prairie Meadows racetrack on Saturday night. The winner, who took the $75,000 Prairie Mile S. on May 31, is the leading earner this year for his sire.
A day of rain left the track sloppy for the 1 1/16-mile Derby, and jockey David Mello had Jessica's Star in fourth, about four lengths off the pace set by Derby Trial (G3) winner Embellishing Bob.
Going into the final turn, Jessica's Star began to creep closer to the front while well off the inside fence. Still needing to make up two length in the final furlong, the eventual winner rallied to the front under strong urging, winning by a length over the pacesetter in 1:44.12 over the off going (VIDEO
A model of consistency, Jessica's Star is now 4-2-0 in six starts, and is 3-for-3 over off tracks. He is trained by Michael Stidham for Mark Breen, and after the $150,000 payday, has earned $275,600.
Descending from one of the solid Claiborne Farm female families, Jessica's Star is related to multiple stakes winners Thread and Hitch. He was bred in Kentucky by Elisabeth Alexander, who also campaigned Magna Graduate.