That Rico Shines in Independence Day Handicap

The gelding scores against older horses on Saturday.

Q-Racing Journal

That Rico poses in the winner's circle after the gelding's victory in Saturday's Grade 3 Independence Day Handicap. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

That Rico, a California-bred 3-year-old son of champion Carters Cartel, earned his first stakes victory in Saturday's 300-yard, $25,000 Independence Day Handicap (G3) at Los Alamitos.

Owned by Thompson Racing Inc. and trainer Paul Jones, That Rico defeated Go Black Benny by a nose in :15.337. Jesus Ayala rode the gelding.

That Rico was bred by the List family's Double Bar S Ranch LLC. The gelding's connections bypassed the June 25 Vandy's Flash Handicap for 3-year-olds in favor of this spot.

"We skipped (the Vandy’s Flash) and decided to run him here because it was 300 yards, and we thought this race was a little lighter than facing the 3-year-olds,” said Jones. “The horse doesn’t like (the whip). 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 added. "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.”

Campaigned exclusively in California, That Rico has won five of his 11 races, and the $13,750 winner's share of the Independence Day Handicap purse increased his bankroll to $76,347, of which $58,422 has been earned this season. His resume includes a second-place finish, three-quarters of a length behind winner Stelfast, in the 400-yard, $224,100 El Primero del Ano Derby (G3) on April 2.

El Remalcable, Uno Corona Mas, Remarkableyesapoweer, Lotta Dynasty, Boylike, De Moss, Nymph, and Heat Warning completed the order of finish.

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