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Top Mares To Face-Off In Las Damas ’Cap

Flame N Flash tries to regain championship form.

December 6, 2013

Robert Williams’ Flame N Flash tries to show the form that made her the 2012 champion 3-year-old filly when she starts against five distaff rivals in the $35,000 Las Damas Handicap (G3) on Sunday night at Los Alamitos.

Flame N Flash (Walk Thru Fire-Oh La Proud by Shirley’s Champion (TB)) might be reaching her best form after racing to her sole 2013 win when she took a conditioned allowance race at Los Alamitos in her latest start. She covered the 350 yards in :17.467 to win by a neck.

The 4-year-old mare capped her championship season last year in the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1), when she was second by a nose to Rylees Boy at 26-1 odds. She proved her stakes class when she won the $210,014 La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) in April 2012 and then came back in September to defeat older mares in the $150,000 Mildred Vessels Handicap (G1) and earn her Champion of Champions berth.

Abigail Kawananakoa’s Native Tea Rose (First Down Dash-St Pats Tea by Mr Jess Perry) is also trying to regain her Grade 1 form. She was second behind Flame In Flash in that 350-yard allowance race as the 19-10 favorite for trainer Paul Jones. She moved to the top tier of the juvenile division last year when she finished fourth in the $2.4 million All American Futurity (G1). She came back this year to score her only 2013 win from three starts in her seasonal debut when she accounted for the $15,000 Stel Corona Handicap by half of a length as the 7-10 choice.

The Dean Frey-owned, -bred and -trained Shez Jess Toxic (Take Off Jess-Dashing Fly Lady by Victory Dash) is always dangerous at this level with her consistent record. She won the $40,860 Merial Remington Park Distaff Challenge by a nose in May and then went to Southern California to finish second by a nose to Thisfeatureisspecial in the $27,990 Merial Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge (G3). The 4-year-old mare stepped up in class to race to close third-place finishes in the $150,000 Mildred Vessels Handicap (G1) and the $100,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1), her latest race.