LARC NEWS Posted: 10/3/2020 12:13:59 AM


         Silvia Carmona’s Jess A Little More took advantage of a clean journey from the outside post to score an upset victory at 14-1 odds in the Grade 2, $140,000 PCQHRA Breeders Derby on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

          Ridden by Ruben Lozano, who has now piloted the winners of three of the six derbies contested at Los Alamitos this season, Jess A Little More was third at the start of the 400-yard race, but moved up steadily until taking the lead with 100 yards to go and from there holding off the even money favorite Up For Speed to post the second stakes win of his career. Trained by Danny Montes, Jess A Little More won the Adequan Grants Pass Derby Challenge on July 7 before running fourth to fastest qualifier Runforyourlife in the trials to the PCQHRA Breeders Derby. Jess A Little More qualified to the final with the ninth fastest time, but he was among the early leaders every step of the way in the final.

          “He left there running today,” Montes said. “He didn’t make any mistakes. He won the Adequan (Grants Pass) Derby to go to Albuquerque. I don’t know about now. We’ll see how he pulls up for this race. It’s still up in the air. In a couple of days we’ll make the decision.

          “It’s hit and miss,” Montes added. “He’s a hard horse to deal with and figure out. I think I have him figure out now, a year later. You can’t push him. You have to baby him. He needs light training. Every four or five days we’ll (gallop) him. He likes to walk, backtrack walk. When he wants to bring to jog, then we start jogging. If he doesn’t want to jog, he’ll go half a mile just walking. That’s it. I hope he can improve.”

          Jess A Little More has given Montes his two biggest wins of the year, but for his career the 41-year-old conditioner has enjoyed some huge victories. He saddled AQHA champion colt Five Bar Cartel to victory in the 2013 Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity and won the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity with Blues Man Too in the 2010. Montes has made the Northwest region his second home, winning many stakes events there with runner like Ladys A Cartel, the winner of the 2018 Pot O’ Gold Futurity, and Harem Bar Cartel, the winner of the Firecracker Futurity at Grants Pass in 2018.

          “We follow the Challenge races on the West Coast and Oregon and Kennewick, Washington is where we start in spring and summer and then we try come out here in the fall with the ones we think can go with the caliber of horses that are here,” Montes added.

          Jess A Little More earned $54,600 for the win, more than double his career earnings. Bred by Fulton Quien Sabe Ranches Lp, Jess A Little More is a Texas-bred by Favorite Cartel out of the Feature Mr Jess broodmare Jess Jazzin. This was his third win in 11 starts and he’s now earned $80,330.

          Jockey Ruben Lozano won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby and the Grade 3 El Primero Del Año Derby with Tell Cartel. He added a Grade 2 win to his 2020 thanks to Jess A Little More.

          “My horse was moving around in the gates before the start,” Lozano said. “When they open the gate, he was moving forward so he able to take off. They couldn’t catch him. He was going great. They tried to catch me but by then it was too late. It feels good to have success. You work hard in the mornings and to win a nice race like this at night, it feels really good.”

          Ed Allred’s Up For Speed, the runner-up to Governor’s Cup Derby, earned $22,100 for his second place finish in this event. Oscar Andrade Jr. piloted the Favorite Cartel gelding for trainer Scott Willoughby. Allred’s Just Be Real, a gelding by Walk Thru Fire, finished third. He was followed by Fire By Night, Bono Is Good, Calida, Javenila Cantina and One Sweet Change. Runforyourlife, the fastest qualifier, and You Can Run were both scratched from this race. Runforyourlife will be back for the trials to the Los Alamitos Super Derby on October 17.



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