It has been a week since Anita Cauley’s On Fire Baby ran a strong second in the La Troienne (GII) to Authenticity and the memory of that effort
brings a big smile to the owner’s face.
“I was very, very proud of
her,” Cauley said of On Fire Baby, who came into the LaTroienne off a
victory in the April 12 Apple Blossom Handicap (GI), her first race in
more than 10 months. “What made the race so exciting
was both horses wanted it.”
Next up for On Fire Baby, trained by Gary Hartlage, is a likely start in the Fleur de Lis, 1 1/8-mile test that may attract defending champion Royal Delta.
“Just to be included in a talk with a horse like Royal Delta, how lucky can you be?” Cauley said.
A two-time Grade II winner at Churchill Downs, On Fire Baby is one of three stakes quality fillies produced by Ornate, who was a stakes winner for Cauley. Included in the family is High Heels, a Grade
II winner who ran third in the 2007 Kentucky Oaks (GI).
A new addition to the Hartlage barn is a 2-year-old son of High Heels named Wry.
“He is a Distorted Humor and I
thought it was the perfect name for him,” Cauley said. “I was surprised
it was not taken.”
Wry came to the barn after
the Hartlage stable returned to Churchill Downs at the conclusion of the
Oaklawn Park meet on April 13. Wry had his first work last Friday, a
half-mile in :50.60.
“He has been the perfect gentleman so far,” Cauley said. “We call him Roly Poly around the barn.”
Wry got his early education at Eisaman Equine in Williston, Fla., and Shari Eisaman told Cauley that Wry had the looks of a recent star.
“Shari told me that he was the spitting image of (2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner) I’ll Have Another,” Cauley said. “Wry looks like Distorted Humor and I’ll Have Another is a Flower Alley (a son of
Distorted Humor), so yes, I can see that.”