Quirky Wins Charger Bar Handicap

The homebred 5-year-old mare earned her seventh stakes win at Los Alamitos on Sunday.

Q-Racing Journal

Eulices Gomez and Quirky return to the Los Alamitos winner's circle after the mare's victory in Sunday's Charger Bar Handicap. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

A sharp break from post 8 helped Edward Allred's Quirky score a head victory in the $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap (G1) for fillies and mares at Los Alamitos on Sunday.

Ridden by Eulices Gomez for trainer James Glenn Jr., Quirky went 400 yards in :19.808. The filly was sent to post as the even-money favorite in the full field of 10 distaffers, and she returned her backers a $4 win mutuel while earning her seventh lifetime stakes win.

Quirky has won eight of 16 races, and the $50,000 winner's share of the Charger Bar purse pushed her bankroll to $398,598, of which $157,955 was earned from five outs last season. The mare's sire, the Corona Cartel stallion Stel Corona, won the '03 PCQHRA Breeders' Derby at Los Alamitos.

Quirky's resume includes a half-length win as the 3-10 choice in the September 27, $100,000 Mildred N. Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1). She also won last year's Charger Bar Handicap, and her win on Sunday made her only the second back-to-back winner of the race, joining champion Stylish Jess BR, who accomplished the feat in 2010 and '11.

"We took some embryos out of her by Walk Thru Fire (at Burns Ranch in Menifee, California) and we’ll do something similar this year,” Allred said. “We’ll get one Favorite Cartel and one Walk Thru Fire, and then she’ll be back to the track to run. She’s a very sound mare.”

“I think going to Burns Ranch for breeding purposes for a good thing for Quirky last year,” Glenn added. “It was a chance to get away from the track for a little bit and served as a mental break for her. It was a change of scenery and it did her a lot of good. She came back to the track refreshed and ready to work.”

Glenn also gave a lot of the credit for Quirky's success to the mare's jockey.

“Eulices did all the work with Quirky when she was a 2-year-old,” Glenn said. “He was aboard Quirky when she broke her maiden and he piloted to a qualifying spot in the (2013) Ed Burke Million Futurity. He also finished second with her in the La Primera Del Ano Derby the following year.

"Eulices got injured just around the time that Quirky was getting really good that year," he added. "Carlos Huerta eventually got the mount and by then Quirky was really, really good. Eulices handled everything with so much class, and he worked hard to get back to riding. I know it’s tough for a young jockey when something like that happens because riding a horse like this can make all the difference.”

After Huerta became injured in a riding accident on December 11, Gomez got the opportunity to ride Quirky again.

“I’m really happy for Eulices,” Glenn said.

Sass Me Blue ran second and was followed by Apolitical Zoom, Political Chick, Walk Around Blues, Take A Look, Tallulah Moon, Vivid, Skinny Jeans, and Solid Connection.

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