JESS BEING A FRIEND DELIVERS ANOTHER A RANSOM VICTORY FOR NICHOLS
For the second year in a row, owner Howard Nichols visited the winner’s circle after the running of the $25,000 A Ransom Handicap at Los Alamitos.
Last year, Nichols (photo) won this race with the Jaime Gomez-trained Doc Lamb. On Saturday night, Nichols was back in the winner’s circle, this time with the Elena Andrade-trained Jess Being A Friend after the homebred gelding scored an impressive neck victory at 13-1 odds over Idaho invader Chicks Dashin Bandit in the 350-yard race. This is the third time that Nichols has won the A Ransom. He also won this race back in 2013 with Jess Being Valiant, who is the sire of Jess Being A Friend.
“Maybe this is my race,” said Nichols with a smile while clutching the A Ransom trophy.
Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves, Jess Being A Friend covered the distance in :17.681 while posting his fourth win in 15 career starts. The runner-up in last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, Jess Being A Friend earned $13,750 for the win to take his career earnings to $410,575. He’s now finished in the money in 10 of his starts.
“It was worth the drive,” added Nichols, who lives in Arizona. “It’s a six-hour drive, but this win will make the return drive feel like just three hours. He’s been running a lot of seconds, so it’s nice to get this win.”
Jess Being A Friend will make his next start in the trials to the Grade 1 Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship in late January.
Five Livestock Company LLC’s Chicks Dashin Bandit, second in the Idaho Cup Derby three months ago, ran a nice second in his first California start on October 30. He was sharp once again, as the Monty Arrossa-trained gelding earned $5,625 for running second. Paulo Octavio Freire Macedo’s Amadeus MV ran third and followed by She Goes Up and Jess Hez On Fire, who dead heated for fourth place, Da Special One, Look Up, and Gratian.