LARC NEWS Posted: 12/18/2020 10:59:46 PM


        J. Francisco Diaz’s Chayito Cartel (below) scored his first win since the 2019 Grade 2 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity on May 19 after winning the second of two division of the $20,000 A Ransom Handicap as the longest shot on the board at 23-1 odds on Friday at Los Alamitos.

          The A Ransom Handicap was split into two divisions after 16 horses nominated to the 350-yard race for 3-year-olds earlier this week. The result was two highly competitive and evenly matched stakes events to kick off closing week of the current meet.

          The first division went to Reliance Ranches’ Mr Ricks (below right), who left the gate nicely from post seven and outlasted his rivals to win by a neck at 5-2 odds. The gelding by Mr Jess Perry covered the distance in :17.646 in route to his first ever stakes win in 15 starts. Oscar Peinado piloted Mr Ricks, who is trained by Mike Robbins. The McColee Land & Livestock LLC-bred runner earned $11,000 to take his career bankroll to $170,570. Mr Ricks, who qualified to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last year, came into this race after running the Los Alamitos Super Derby. He finished sixth in both the Two Million and Super Derby, two races boasting some of the strongest fields in the nation.

          Chayito Cartel, a Favorite Cartel gelding bred by his owner, led from the start to finish, while holding off  Juniors Quarter Horses’ solid Pesky, who chased Chayito Cartel gamely the entire way. Juan Pablo Leon piloted the winner to a neck victory for trainer Lindolfo Diaz.

          “Chayito did not forget how to run,” the trainer said. “He’s just been having trouble in the gate. He had been leaning on hind legs before starts and that just made things for tough for him. I made an equipment change – a different type of bit - in an effort to help him focus better in the gate. You have to try different things and I’m glad that it worked.”

          A winner in each of his first three starts, Chayito Cartel had lost his previous five starts. He did finish third in the Town Policy Handicap last month and came in after finishing sixth in his Southern California Derby trial. The $11,000 first place share of the purse takes his career earnings to $173,424.

          Mr Ricks was followed across the wire by Juniors Quarter Horses’ Made Over and Ed Allred’s Doctor Gene. In the other division, Chayito Cartel and Pesky led the way with Jesus Uranga’s Kick It Papa Joe running third.  




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