There’s no slowing down Jose Flores right now, as the trainer picked up another stakes win at Los Alamitos, this time courtesy of Howard Nichols’ Vivid in the $20,000 A Ransom Handicap for 3-year-olds at on Friday night.
Ridden by Cody Jensen from post number five, Vivid picked up speed with each late stride after a modest start. The filly by Walk Thru Fire was flying in the final half of the race on the way to posting a half-length victory in a 400-yard time of :17.771. Runner-up in the PCQHRA Breeders Derby in her most recent stakes outing, Vivid earned $11,000 for the win to take her career earnings to $61,268. This was her first win in six starts this season after a freshman campaign in which she picked up three wins in seven starts.
“This is a good way to end the year,” Nichols said. “We’ve had some trouble with her in the gate, but she’s always a strong finisher. She’s a big filly so she’s not as quick as some of the smaller horses, but she’s improved. We think she’s going to be a nice 4-year-old. We’ll see what her next start will be. Maybe the Charger Bar Handicap (on January 3), but there’s also Los Alamitos Winter Championship trials on January 24. I’ll sit down with Jose and have a conversation about our plans with this filly.”
The victory was just the latest success for her trainer. Last week, Flores enjoyed the weekend of his racing life, as he saddled champion Heza Dasha Fire to victory in the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions on Saturday and then Ima Fearless Hero to win the Grade 1, $1,957,150 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Sunday. Flores will not have a starter in either of the last two stakes races of the meet, the First Down Dash Handicap on Saturday nor the Southern California Derby on Sunday.
Nerio Ruiz’s Tango In Cash earned $4,500 for finishing second in the A Ransom. Ridden by Rodolfo Arvizu for trainer Guillermo Morales, the FDD Dynasty colt enjoyed a solid sophomore campaign. He hit the board in six of his nine starts this season and qualified to the El Primero Del Ano Derby earlier this year. Boundless Ocean, Old Girl, and Chicanery completed the field.