The Fritchie Stakes (Grade 2)- $300.000 Purse
LRL- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
Seven Furlongs on the Dirt
February 17, 2018
There will be some high quality racing at LRL this Saturday for a change with a couple races going for strong purses. Here, we will take a look at the 11th running of The Fritchie Stakes, which is a Grade 2 long sprint for older females. It is a race that has seen some very accomplished horses win in the past, such as Millionaire Heiress in 2011, Distant Cousin two years ago, and then The Hanging Tree last year. Mb Stables has made his mark on this race, winning it in three of the last four years. Can he do it again? He has one in this field, but meets up with six others looking for the big victory. This is an impressive field of seven, as it features the top three finishers in the BC Fillies and Mares Sprint from November, and a total of four that were part of that field. Let’s take a look!
#1- You Are My Sunshine (Stone Creek Farm, ridden by E Jaramillo)- Late in the season last year, You Are My Sunshine began appearing in graded stakes, thanks to a three race winning streak she turned in during the spring. She was able to hit the board in three straight graded events, including a second place effort, missing the headbob at the wire in the Grade 2 PID Masters Stakes in September. Those results allowed her to make the BC Fillies and Mares Sprint field, but she didn’t do much. Since then, she’s won two in a row again, including finally getting that graded victory. She has heart, and she has good shot here.
#2- Threat (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J R Leparoux)- The trainer is a part winner of this race, taking it in 2016 with Distant Cousin, and he certainly will field a threat in this race as well. Threat is on her best run of form right now, with three wins in her last five starts, and overall she has taken five of fifteen. Comes off a win in the Falls City Handicap, a Grade 2 at CD back in November. She’s been resting since then. Worth noting that her runs at exactly this distance have not been her strongest, and she seems to like going a little longer.
#3- Temple Of The Brave (Crocker Ggs, ridden by G Boulanger)- Nearly became a BC Champion in her most recent start, placing second in a photo to Natural Zone in the BC Fillies and Mares Sprint. They were about as close then, as they are in the starting gate today. All Temple Of The Brave needs to do is look in the gate right next to her for all the motivation she needs. Prior to the BC, she had won five out of six, and that includes a pair of Grade 2 wins. The big question for her is the layoff, she has not raced since the BC, which was about 100 days ago. Some handle that better then others, we’ll see how she fares.
#4- Natural Zone (Mb Stables, ridden by J J Castellano)- Part of Mb Stables’ glorious BC of 2017 included a win by Natural Zone in the Fillies and Mares Sprint, narrowly edging out Temple Of The Brave. It was a win that finished a 2017 that saw her take five out of seven races. Unlike Temple Of The Brave, she is not coming into this race off a layoff, but instead ran in an open allowance where she… finished 8th? That open allowance, by the way, was won by You Are My Sunshine, so that probably was an unofficial ungraded stake. So, why did she not run well there? The line points to her being a complete non-factor. If it’s a throw out, then everything’s fine, and it may well be.
#5- Gotahotone (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by L H Colon)- Here’s another that found a way to get in the money at the BC Fillies and Mares Sprint. Gotahotone ran third in that race, and was within a half length of Natural Zone and Temple Of The Brave at the end. The result capped off a year that saw her earn just over $450.000. She is still looking for her first graded victory, but has three second place efforts at this level, highlighted by placing in the Grade 1 Ballerina at SAR prior to running third in the BC. She’s run once this year, and finished a disappointing third in the four-horse Interborough at AQU, a race she actually won in 2017.
#6- Moon Diamond (Brave, ridden by T C Baze)- This six-year old mare also comes off a layoff, having last run a couple days before Halloween in the muddy Pumpkin Pie at AQU against three rivals, and she came out on top. In all, she has raced 24 times during her career, and picked up seven victories, and typically finds a way to be close at the end, even when she is not winning. She ran competitively in the Grade 2 TC of America at KEE, which is the most comparable race to this one. I’d like her more if it was not for the layoff.
#7- Baby Goes To Rio (Aml Racing, ridden by J Talamo)- If you are looking to beat the four runners from the BC Fillies and Mares sprint with one, this is the one to use. Baby Goes To Rio spent the majority of her 2017 going over a mile, and was seen in such coveted races as the Grade 1 Alabama and the BC Distaff Preview, also known as the Grade 1 Cotillion at PRX in September. After those efforts, she dropped back in distance and was sharp in winning at seven furlongs in the $125.000 Jammed Lovely, for ON-breds. Next up, she ran a steady third in the Grade 1 La Brea, so she may be finding herself now at this distance. Given those races, she is not going to back down from the biggest names here.