Virginia-bred horses Joe Tess and Tough Weather scored their respective seventh and third lifetime wins last Friday (December 18) at Laurel, both at the six furlong distance and both as mild surprise upset victors.
Joe Tess, a 5 year old Macho Uno gelding bred by Edward Evans, competed against eight others in a claiming sprint with a purse of $23,000. The winner closed the pace outside of the leader, Roman Roulette, was three deep entering the stretch then sprinted clear by mid-stretch. Jockey Angel Rodriguez guided Joe Tess to a surging one length victory over Charleston Pier, who was disqualified, in 1:11.83. Sent off at 6-1, the Hugh McMahon trainee paid $15.40 and was entered for the claiming price of $15,000. Joe Tess, who earned his third win of the 2015 campaign, was making his 22nd career start. He broke his maiden Christmas week in 2013 then went on to “top three’ finishes in his nest six starts after. He was third in the 2014 Punch Line Stakes and competed in a pair of Grade III’s that year as well. Joe Tess is owned by Pop’s Racing Stable and is out of the Gold Fever mare Forty Moves.
Tough Weather is a daughter of Wiseman’s Ferry and is a Robert Bailes trainee. In her $15,000 filly and mare claiming sprint, she hugged the rail around the turn in fifth, moved to third at the top of the stretch, then drew clear and won by 2 1/2 lengths over Cowtown Brown, who ended up being claimed from the race. Tough Weather crossed in 1:12.64 and like Joe Tess, was sent off at 6-1. She returned $14.20 to her backers and captured her third career win from 16 outings. Her previous wins came April 2nd at Pimlico and last December at Charles Town. Owned and bred by Sam English II and ridden by Caitlyn Stoddard, she is out of the Montreal Red mare Soft Weather. Tough Weather was entered for a $5,000 claiming price.