01/04/2013 3:05PM

Los Alamitos: Flame N Flash formidable against females in Charger Bar


Flame N Flash, the filly who almost stole the $750,000 Champions of Champions against older males last month, reverts to the female division for Sunday’s $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap at Los Alamitos.

For her 4-year-old debut, Flame N Flash will be favored to win her third major race in the last year. She won the La Primera Del Ano Derby last April and the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Handicap in September.

In the Champion of Champions over 440 yards, Flame N Flash led by a neck midway through the race, but was caught in the final strides by Rylees Boy, losing by a head.

Those performances have made Flame N Flash the leading candidate to be named champion 3-year-old filly of 2012 this month. A win in the Grade 2 Charger Bar would give her an early lead for the title of champion older female of 2013.

Francisco Rubio rides Flame N Flash, who is trained by Elena Andrade. Andrade began training Flame N Flash in November after previous trainer Juan Aleman was suspended for a medication violation.

Flame N Flash has won 7 of 15 starts and $419,426 in her career, racing exclusively at Los Alamitos. She won 4 of 8 starts in 2012, with a sixth as the 6-5 favorite in the Los Alamitos Super Derby in November the only poor start of her season.

The 400-yard Charger Bar has drawn a strong field of 11, but will be limited to 10 starters. The field includes the first four finishers of the Grade 3 Las Damas Handicap on Nov. 18 – Getit Together, Touch of Paso, Separate Thoughts, and Onemoreglassofwine. In 2011, Onemoreglassofwine won the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders’ Derby.

Arguably, the biggest threats to Flame N Flash are Shez Jess Toxic and Thisfeatureisspecial.

Shez Jess Toxic, owned and trained by Dean Frey, was a game second in the Southern California Derby on Dec. 23 and makes a quick turnaround for the Charger Bar.

Thisfeatureisspecial was second to Flame N Flash in the Mildred Vessels Handicap in September. Trained by Paul Jones, the 6-year-old Thisfeatureisspecial was later fourth in the Los Alamitos Championship in October and fourth in a trial for the Champion of Champions in November, both against males.