Trainer Jeff Hiles Shoots for First Stakes Win

Horse Racing Radar
Valerie Mellema
Valerie Mellema is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Friday, September 24, 2021
Churchill Downs Press Release

Jeff Hiles launched his training career just four years ago but the 41-year-old United States Marine Corp. veteran is poised to record his first stakes victory with 3-year-old filly SHESA MYSTERY in Saturday's $275,000 Dogwood (Grade III) at Churchill Downs. 

Owned by John Gaynor's Let It Ride Stables, SHESA MYSTERY enters Saturday's seven-furlong Dogwood with a lifetime record of 5-2-1-0 with $84,332 in purse earnings. The chestnut filly by Verrazano broke her maiden four starts ago at Indiana Grand by 4 ¾ lengths and returned three weeks later to score a 2 ¾-length first-level allowance victory. 

"We're really excited about her in this spot," Hiles said. "She's coming into this race in great shape. (Carribean Caper) is a really nice filly for (trainer) Al (Stall Jr.) but if she can handle the shortened distance I think she'll run a big effort." 

SHESA MYSTERY finished second two starts ago in the $225,000 Iowa Oaks (GIII) and enters Saturday's affair with an enigmatic seventh-place finish in the $100,000 Pucker Up (GIII) over the turf. 

Hiles is quietly having a solid year hitting at a 25% win-clip with 13 wins from 53 starters. His purse earnings of $313,761 are higher than his first three years of his training career combined. 

Fans may recognize Hiles as the son of veteran Kentucky-based conditioner Rick Hiles. Prior to starting his career in 2018, Hiles served as the Churchill Downs-based assistant to Kenny McPeek. 

SHESA MYSTERY is based at Highpointe Farm and Training Center which is located in La Grange, Ky., about 45 minutes northeast of Churchill Downs. 

The Dogwood drew a compact field of seven 3-year-old fillies and was carded as Race 8 with a post time of 4:22 p.m. (all times Eastern). Saturday's 11-race card features a stakes trio including the inaugural runnings of the $275,000 Bourbon Trail® and $275,000 Harrods Creek, both for 3-year-olds. First post is 12:45 p.m. 

The complete Dogwood field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): COPPELIA (Martin Garcia, Phil Bauer, 15-1); CARRIBEAN CAPER (Colby Hernandez, Stall, even-money); LI'L TOOTSIE (James Graham, Tom Amoss, 3-1); MALLOY (Joe Talamo, Wayne Catalano, 10-1); SHESA MYSTERY (Miguel Mena, Hiles, 10-1); PATTY H (Julien Leparoux, Mike Miceli, 7-2); and SOMEONE SAID SO (Adam Beschizza, Coty Rosin, 15-1).


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