LARC NEWS Posted: 7/2/2017 12:25:33 AM

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         Paul Jones and Thompson Racing Inc’s That Rico has finished second in the El Primero Del Ano Derby and third in the Dillingham Handicap to the razor sharp sophomore Stelfast this year so when the 400-yard Vandy’s Flash Handicap for 3-year-olds came up on the schedule on June 25, the owners admitted that it was time to try something different instead of running against a field that included Stelfast and Grade 1 winner Lotta Blues Man.

 

“We skipped the race for 3-year-olds (the Vandy’s Flash Handicap) and decided to run him (in the Independence Day Handicap) because it was 300 yards and thought this race was a little lighter than facing the 3-year-olds,” said Jones, who also trains the gelding by Carters Cartel.

 

The strategy paid off as Jesus Rios Ayala piloted That Rico to a hard-fought nose victory over the 4-year-old Go Black Benny in the 300-yard, $25,000 Independence Day on Saturday at Los Alamitos. Racing from post number four in the 10-horse field, That Rico covered the distance in :15.337. He also earned $13,750 for the win to take his career bankroll to $76,347.

 

“The horse doesn’t like (the whip),” Jones added. “Ayala rode him patiently and let him do his running. The 300 yards is good for him because he’s so quick out of the gate. He’s a cool horse. He’s like a clown. I call him Payaso, which is clown in Spanish. He has a lot of personality. He’s definitely a clown, but he’s a good horse.”

 

When it comes to racing, That Rico is no joke. He’s now won five of 11 starts and has finished in the money in five of his last six starts. Jones and Thompson Racing won the Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap for older horses with the 3-year-old Flay last year. It’ll be interesting to see if That Rico follows a similar path and goes against older horses in a race like the Sprint Stakes on California Breeders Champions Night on Saturday, July 29.  

 

Lisa Anderson’s Go Black Benny earned $5,625 for running second. Overlooked at 7-1 odds, Go Black Benny has posted some nice efforts in stakes races in the past. He was third to Rite Regal in the Golden State Derby last year. Rodrigo Aceves piloted Go Black Benny for trainer Jaime Gomez. Jesus Daniel Padilla’s El Remalcable finished third and was followed by Uno Corona Mas, Remarkableyesapoweer, Lotta Dynasty, Boylike, De Moss, Nymph, and Heat Warning.

 

**

 

S-Quarter K Racing LLC’s Heza Dasha Fire, the AQHA World Champion in 2015, is another step closer to making his 2017 debut on California Breeders Champios Night after posting a sensational 350-yard gate drill on Saturday, July 1. Breaking from the outside post in the two-horse drill, the gelding by Walk Thru Fire covered the distance in a blistering time of :17.40 for trainer Jose Flores. His workout mate was JDF Valentina, which covered the distance in :18.40.

 

Heza Dasha Fire has not raced since finishing second to Zoomin For Spuds in the Champion of Champions on December 10. Heza Dasha Fire won the Champion of Champions during his world champion campaign in 2015. Heza Dasha Fire is expected to make his 2017 debut in the Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap on Champions Night.

 

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