Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
After finishing a strong second last
year, My Wandy’s Girl
returned from New York to win this year’s
$300,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (G2) for fillies and mares.
The Fritchie was rescheduled for today after the card for Saturday
March 15 was lost to inclement weather.
My Wandy’s Girl pressed, caught and repulsed post time
favorite La Verdad to win by a length in 1:23.79 for the seven furlong distance.
Centrique finished a close-up third.
This marks her second North American stakes victory after
winning several stakes in Puerto Rico. Rajiv Maragh also came from New York to
ride the daughter of Flower Alley, who paid $7.20.
The win also marks the third victory in the Fritchie for trainer
Michael Hushion, who won with Golden Dawn (2008) and Harissa (2011).
Maragh said, “It was a very competitive race. I had one to
the inside and one to the outside and my horse showed a lot of guts by holding
them off. I was hoping to be up close without using her too much. I didn’t want
the three (La Verdad) to be out there all alone. My horse seems to have much
better fight when she’s in a real race. I kept her off the rail because it
seems to be a disadvantage today. She was getting tired but I switched leads
and she found more in her.”
Jose Ortiz (jockey La Verdad-2nd) “She broke good and took
the lead like normal but the four was breathing one lane behind me all the way.
My filly missed a couple days training and was stretching out a little at seven
Linda Rice (trainer La Verdad-2nd) said, “ It’s a big step
up in competition but I have a terrific filly and it was a disappointment. She
hung in and considering this was her first time out of town, her first stakes
race and the fact she didn’t get to train much the last three weeks with the
weather in New York, she did very well.”
Behemoth Reaches Late
in John B. Campbell Handicap
Michelle & Claudio Stable, Inc.’s Behemoth dogged the
1-5 betting favorite until he caught him in the last jump to win the $100,000
John B. Campbell Handicap.
Victor Santiago was relentless atop the son of Giant’s
Causeway, sending him hard from the far turn to the finish line after
frontrunner Managed Account, a previous stakes winner. They won by a nose and
Concealed Identity finished third.
Trained by Claudio Gonzales, Behemoth covered the mile and
an eighth distance in 1:51.59 and paid $24.60. This was the first stakes win
but only the second stakes start for the 5-year old.
Gonzales said, “Victor did everything the right way. I said
if we fight the one horse (Managed Account) we’ll be last. Take him back and
relax and make one move. He had trouble at the start in his previous race but
he’s getting better and better.
Owner Somraj Singh said, “Sometimes you just take a shot.
He’s well-bred and has a lot of talent and he loves this track.” Behemoth has
hit the board ten times in thirteen starts at Laurel Park.