12/31/2009 12:00AM

Forgive Him rested for Charger Bar


Forgive Him is on a schedule of winning one major stakes per year. She won the Grade 1 La Primera Del Ano Derby for 3-year-old Quarter Horse fillies in 2008 and the Grade 2 Las Damas Handicap a few weeks ago, in November.

She may keep that streak going as soon as Saturday's $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap for older fillies and mares at Los Alamitos.

Trainer Cody Joiner is hoping that Forgive Him will benefit from not racing in December.

"She's setting up for this race really well," Joiner said of Forgive Him. "Maybe that gives us a slight advantage."

Owned by Los Alamitos track owner Ed Allred, Forgive Him, 5, has won 7 of 16 starts and $202,946. Her two major stakes wins have come at the Charger Bar distance of 400 yards, but she's also been effective at 300 yards, having won the Huntington Harbor Handicap back in March.

Joiner said a clean start will be vital for Forgive Him to get a jump on main rival Stylish Jess BR.

"She's had trouble beating Stylish Jess BR, but if she gets away I think she can be close," Joiner said.

Zach Kelsey, who rode Forgive Him for the first time in the Las Damas, retains the mount.

"She's kind of a temperamental, hard-to-ride filly," Joiner said. "I think Zach Kelsey fits this filly really well."

Stylish Jess BR, trained by Paul Jones, won two stakes in 2009, including the Challenge Distaff Championship at Los Alamitos on Oct. 31. She was beaten a half-length in the Champion of Champions in her last start Dec. 12, but was disqualified and placed seventh for causing interference.