Kiddy Up Cowgirl Upsets Charger Bar Handicap

The 4-year-old mare earns her first Grade 1 win on Sunday.

Q-Racing Journal

Kiddy Up Cowgirl (right) sprinted to a neck victory in Sunday's Grade 1, $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap for distaffers. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Making her first start in more than two months, Kiddy Up Cowgirl outran her 21-1 odds to win Sunday's $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap (G1) at Los Alamitos.

Kiddy Up Cowgirl covered 400 yards in :19.813, and her winning margin was a neck from 6-5 favorite Thermonuclear Energy. Eulices Gomez rode the 4-year-old daughter of Kiddy Up for owners David and Leah Nelson and trainer James Glenn Jr.

The connections of Kiddy Up Cowgirl -- from
left trainer James Glenn Jr., owners Leah
and David Nelson, and jockey Eulices Gomez.
PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

The Nelsons purchased Kiddy Up Cowgirl at the advice of Glenn, who had trained the mare for the late Rod MacPherson Jr.  MacPherson's daughter, Robin, wanted to find the perfect owner for Kiddy Up Cowgirl while also keeping the mare in Glenn's barn. 

“This wouldn’t be possible without Robin MacPherson,” Glenn said. “She allowed this to happen and literally took just pennies on the dollar just so I could keep the mare. We had all these offers for her, but we did not sell her. Robin let me have her for that reason. David Nelson started me. This wasn’t about the money. It was about having a good horse.”  

“I’m just blessed that we were able to buy the mare when we did,” David Nelson added. “It’s been beyond our dreams and expectations. Jimmy has been the intermediary between us and Robin MacPherson. She told Jimmy that she wanted him to find a good home for the mare and keep her in his barn.

"I had called Jimmy to tell him about a filly I had bought a few years ago that wasn’t proving out," he added. "I was whining about her running fifth or sixth when he said, ‘Forget that. I’ve got a deal for you.’ That was the deal. She’s the best horse by far that we’ve ever owned.”

Nelson, a retired lobbyist in Oregon, has loved Quarter Horses for as long as he can remember. The plan now calls for Kiddy Up Cowgirl to go to the breeding shed.

“We’ll breed her to One Famous Eagle and Seperate Interest, and then she’ll be back (racing)," Glenn said. "We’ll run her in the Matron Stakes on California Breeders Champions Night (July 28), and then the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap (in September). We’ll take a shot at the aged mare championship with her.”

Kiddy Up Cowgirl was bred in California by David Martin. The mare is out of Girls Choice, an unraced 10-year-old mare by A Regal Choice, Kiddy Up Cowgirl's second dam, the Raise A Secret mare Girl Secrets, won three graded derbies at Los Alamitos in 1998, including the Grade 1 Golden State Derby.

Campaigned exclusively in California, Kiddy Up Cowgirl has won five of 18 starts, including last year's PCQHRA Breeders' Derby (G3). The $50,000 winner's share of the Charger Bar purse bumped her bankroll to $217,041, of which $120,403 was earned during her sophomore season.

Strawfinders Jessee ran third, a nose behind Thermonuclear Energy. One Sweet Runner, Jess Paint Your Lips, Jess Mas, Honeymoon Candy, Time For Jess, Duck Dash N Go, and Jess Good Reason completed the order of finish.

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