08/10/2013 8:59PM

Santa Rosa: Ain't No Other wins Jess Jackson Owners' Handicap in third try

William G. Vassar
Ain't No Other (right), ridden by Juan Hernandez, defeats Starboardlights by a neck Saturday in the Jess Jackson Owners' Handicap.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. – The third time was the charm for Ain't No Other ($7) and just another disappointment for Starboardlights in the $66,350 Jess Jackson Owners’ Handicap at the Sonoma County Fair on Saturday.

Ain't No Other, co-favored with Ourwestcoastghost, won the five-furlong turf stakes in a course-record time of 56.47 seconds, defeating Starboardlights by a neck. The clocking beat Sweet Kendall Jo's old record of 56.76 set in 2006.

Ain't No Other was first under the wire in the inaugural Jess Jackson in 2011 but was disqualified to third behind Starboardlights, who was moved up to second. Last year, Ain't No Other finished second, and Starboardlights finished third.

Longshot Our Magic Couple set the pace Saturday, dueling with Streamside and Moonshine Bay. He led by a head through fractions of 22.20 and 45.02 but drifted out badly after the quarter pole, taking Moonshine Bay with him.

That opened things up for Ain't No Other, who broke from the rail, and Starboardlights, who dueled for the length of the stretch, with Ain't No Other inching ahead at the wire. Moonshine Bay came back after being carried out and finished third, another 1 1/4 lengths back.

Juan Hernandez, who was aboard Ain't No Other when he was disqualified, said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer had called him from Del Mar on Saturday morning.

"He told me the horse has speed, and if he breaks, just to go, but if he didn't, just get good position," Hernandez said. "He broke a little slow, but I had good position, and I just waited for space to open up."

It did when Our Magic Couple drifted out, and Hernandez and Ain't No Other were ready.

"When I asked, he showed good speed," Hernandez said. "Before the race, I said to him, ‘Let’s go win this again. We may not get another chance.’ "

For Starboardlight's disappointed owner, Jeff Finkel, who never has run the 7-year-old gelding on turf except for the horse’s three starts in the Jess Jackson, the finish was frustrating.

"I told people the No. 9 post could make the difference," he said.

Ain't No Other, a Tommy Town Thoroughbreds homebred, earned $42,400 for the victory, increasing the 5-year-old Old Topper gelding's bankroll to $495,985, with nine victories from 28 starts.