Grade 1 Charger Bar Draws Full Field of Distaffers
The season's first graded stakes will be run at Los Alamitos on Sunday.
January 5, 2017
A full field of 10 fillies and mares, topped by morning-line favorite Sass Me Blue, has been entered in Sunday's 400-yard, $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap (G1) at Los Alamitos.
A 5-year-old daughter of Valiant Hero trained by Mike Casselman for owner Lucky Seven Ranch, Sass Me Blue ended her 4-year-old campaign with a sixth-place finish, 1 1/2 lengths behind winner Zoomin For Spuds, in the 440-yard, $600,000 Champion of Champions (G1) on December 10. The mare won two of her four outs last year, including the 400-yard, $100,000 Mildred N. Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1) for distaffers on September 25, a victory which gave her the Champion of Champions berth.
Sass Me Blue drew post 10 and will be ridden by Cody Jensen. Her nine opponents include Ed Allred's Quirky, the sport's champion aged mare in 2015 and the Charger Bar defending champion. Quirky will be making her first start since September 25, when she ran fourth, a neck behind Sass Me Blue, in the Millie Vessels.
In fact, Quirky will be attempting to win the Charger Bar for the third consecutive time, as the mare also won the stakes during her championship campaign.
"No one has won three straight runnings of the Charger Bar, so that would be something special for her to do," said James Glenn Jr., Quirky's trainer. "We're hoping she'll run big in this one, and she'll need to because the younger mares are getting tough to defeat.
"In the last few months, she's picked up weight," Glenn added. "She's the strongest we've ever had her and is doing well."
Glenn also said that Quirky will be bred after the Charger Bar.
"She'll go to Dr. Steve Burns at Burns Ranch," the trainer added. "She already has some foals on the ground and some foals in the oven (which are being carried by surrogate mares)."
Quirky drew post 8 and will be ridden by Eulices Gomez.
The Charger Bar honors the memory of Charger Bar, a mulitple stakes winning daughter of Tiny Charger and the sport's world champion in 1971. Charger Bar was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2001.
The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds:
Jess Ravin (Jesus Rios Ayala, 125), 4-1
Bf Fooserageous (Cruz Mendez, 122), 15-1
Little Talks (Cesar DeAlba, 125), 8-1
Thermonuclear Energy (Tony Guymon, 123), 20-1
Send Me This Wagon (Eduardo Nicasio, 122), 8-1
Time For Jess (Carlos Huerta, 124), 6-1
Jess Good Reason (Oscar Peinado, 125), 10-1
Quirky (Eulices Gomez, 126), 7-2
Time For Wine (Rodrigo Aceves, 123), 20-1
Sass Me Blue (Cody Jensen, 126), 3-1
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