Check N Fetch Heads Deep Charger Bar

Top mares ready to battle in Los Alamitos challenge.

Q-Racing Journal

Lorena Rodriguez’s Check N Fetch shoots for another graded stakes win when she starts in the $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap (G2) over 400 yards on Sunday night at Los Alamitos.

A leading candidate for 2013 champion aged mare, Check N Fetch (Check Him Out-Shyann La Jolla by Streakin La Jolla) sustained her only defeat in her latest three starts when she was fifth in the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1), her most recent start.

Check N Fetch came into the Champion of Champions off wins over distaffers in the $147,750 Mildred N. Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1) in September and then the $100,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) in November. The Paul Jones-trained mare scored close decisions in each of those races with a nose win in the Millie Vessels and a head win in the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship. Each of those wins came over the Charger Bar distance of 400 yards.

Last summer at Los Alamitos, Check N Fetch reeled off consecutive wins in the $25,000 La Pacifica Handicap, $25,000 Independence Day Handicap and the $50,000 California Breeders’ Matron Stakes (RG3) for Cal-bred mares.

Also from the Jones barn, Abigail Kawananakoa’s Native Tea Rose (First Down Dash-St Pats Tea by Mr Jess Perry) meets her stablemate for the first time in the Charger Bar. She qualified for the $2.6 million All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs in 2012 and came through last year with wins in the $15,000 Stel Corona Overnight Handicap and then scored her only graded stakes win when she beat females in the $35,000 Las Damas Handicap (G3) in her latest start on December 8.

A third horse from the Jones barn and another mare owned by Kawananakoa, Significant Heart (Corona Cartel-Jess Significant by Mr Jess Perry) won five of seven starts last year, highlighted by the $168,500 PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby (G3) and then earned a spot in the Champion of Champions with a win in the $15,000 Z. Wayne Griffin Director’s Trial. She was last in the Champion of Champions after a very troubled start when she lost all chance.

The Dean Frey-bred, -owned and -trained Shez Jess Toxic (Take Off Jess-Dashing Fly Lady by Victory Dash) is always dangerous at this level and has pressured Check N Fetch and Native Tea Rose in her latest three outs.

The 5-year-old mare was beaten by just a head by Check N Fetch in the Mildred Vessels and the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship. She crossed the finish line in third place in each of those races, however runner-up Zoomdasher was disqualified from purse money in the Mildred Vessels.

In the Las Damas Handicap, Shez Jess Toxic went to the lead at 19-10 odds and was caught by Native Tea Rose and finished second by a neck. She has been on the board in 15 of 16 career starts.