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Stylish Jess BR seeks to recharge stakes resumé


January 5, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

Stylish Jess BR returns after last year's Charger Bar
(photo by Scott Martinez, courtesy of Los Alamitos Race Course)
Benny Rosset’s Stylish Jess BR will look to become the first mare to win back-to-back runnings of the Grade 1 $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap when she headlines a tough full field of distaffers in Saturday’s 400-yard Quarter Horse feature at Los Alamitos.

Stylish Jess BR had an easy time winning the Charger Bar last year. Trained by Paul Jones, the daughter of Feature Mr Jess was among the early leaders and then pulled away in the final 100 yards to record an impressive 1¼-length victory over stakes winners Bills Glamour and Short Czech.

Stylish Jess BR will definitely have to be at the top of her game to repeat, as the mare is now a ripe 6-years-old and this year’s field features Champion of Champions finalist Merridoc Hawk, a winner of five stakes races last year, plus the quick Whatta Knockout, who won a pair of handicap races in 2010 for trainer Felipe Quintero. Stylish Jess Br, meanwhile, enjoyed a solid campaign last season. She finished the meet with $105,158 in earnings last year, plus she won the Merial California Distaff Challenge as well.

Recognized as an AQHA Supreme Racehorse, Stylish Jess Br was also second to 2009 World Champion Freaky in the Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship and third to Merridoc Hawk in the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap. Cesar De Alba, who has piloted her to several big victories in her career, will ride her from the outside post 10.

Merridoc Hawk will start from post one, the same place that saw her win the California Breeders Matron Stakes last year. To go along with the Matron and Mildred Vessels, Merridoc Hawk won three other stakes races to give her a season high mark of five stakes wins. The Hawkinson mare also won the Flare For Toby, Florentine, Kaweah Bar. Interestingly, Merridoc Hawk never blew away her rivals in any of those stakes wins. Her largest win margin was only a neck in both the Millie Vessels and Kaweah Bar. Honored as the meet’s top aged mare on the 2010 media poll, Merridoc Hawk will be ridden by Juan Andrade and saddled by Carlos Gonzalez.

Chalala, a 7-year-old mare sired by Chicks Beduino Jr, can boast the hottest connections on the grounds in the form of owner Rancho El Cabresto, trainer Juan Aleman and jockey Eduardo Nicasio. This trio won the Champion of Champions with the outstanding Apollitical Jess in a 440-yard track record clocking last year. Nicasio also established himself as a big money rider last year, as his nine stakes wins for the meet were second only to Francisco Rubio’s 13 stakes wins and Rodrigo Aceves’ 10. Chalala has won seven of her last nine starts.

The field will also feature Johnny Trotter’s Dash Back Perry, who returns to Los Alamitos after posting a couple of super efforts in Texas and New Mexico. The Mr Jess Perry mare ran third to millionaire Noconi in the Zia Park Championship on December 5 and before that she was third to Streakin Down in the $368,000 Texas Classic Derby. In 2009, Dash Back Perry ran sixth to Ed Allred and Tom Seibly’s The Partys On Fire in that year’s $1,272,000 Golden State Million Futurity. Joe Bassett will saddle Dash Back Perry, who will be ridden by Saul Ramirez Jr.

Whatta Knockout and Varsity Girl figure to be among the quickest females out of the gate on Saturday night. Whatta Knockout will need to improve on her last outing at 400 yards when she finished fourth in the $35,000 Las Damas Handicap. Varsity Girl, meanwhile, ran second in her only two starts of 2010, and could be the surprise package in this race.