LAUREL, MD – Champion female sprinter La Verdad and stablemate Hot City Girl, who ended her 3-year-old season with a second-place finish in the La Brea (G1), are two of the 31 fillies and mares nominated for the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Stakes (G2) Feb. 13 at Laurel Park.
Hot City Girl and La Verdad, both owned by Lady Sheila Stable and trained by Linda Rice, lead an interesting group for the seven-furlong Fritchie, part of Laurel’s Winter Carnival that runs from Feb. 13-15 and includes the $250,000 General George (G3) and four other stakes with total weekend stakes purses of $850,000.
The Winter Carnival includes ice carvings, giveaways, dining and drink specials, and entertainment Saturday through Monday.
La Verdad, a 6-year-old mare by Yes It’s True, was named Champion Female Sprinter Jan. 16 at the 45th Eclipse Awards. La Verdad finished second in the 2014 Fritchie before going on to win the Distaff (G2) at Aqueduct that year. The mare returned in 2015 to win the Distaff (G2), Gallant Bloom (G2), Vagrancy (G3) and Iroquois while finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).
La Verdad kicked off her 2016 season Jan. 9 by easily winning the Interborough Stakes at Aqueduct by 2 3/4 lengths.
Hot City Girl won Laurel’s Safely Kept Nov. 14 before finishing second to Birdatthewire in the La Brea. A 4-year-old daughter of City Zip, Hot City Girl won the Charles Town Oaks (G3) in September and was fifth in June in the Mother Goose (G1)
Both defending Fritchie winner Lady Sabelia and runner-up Princess Violet have also been nominated. Lady Sabelia, trained by Robin Graham for Mrs. Frank P. Wright, is coming off victories in the Willa On the Move at Laurel and the Pumpkin Pie at Belmont. The 6-year-old mare has won 10 of 18 starts – including eight of her last 11 – for $665,465.
Princess Violet, who won the Madison (G1) and finished second in the Ruffian (G2) after her second-place finish in the Fritchie last year, was most recently fourth in the Interborough Stakes Jan. 9 at Aqueduct.
Others nominated include Sunshine Millions Distaff winner Mom’z Laugh, Maryland Millions Distaff winner Lionhearted Lady and What A Summer winner Sweet On Smokey.
The seven-furlong General George drew 22 nominations include millionaire Page McKenney, who has won three consecutive stakes; graded-stakes winner Coup de Grace; multiple graded-stakes placed Stallwalkin Dude; and stakes winners Always Sunshine, Golden Years, Majestic Affair, and Sonny Inspired.
Winter Carnival weekend at Laurel will also include the $75,000 John B. Campbell for 4-year-olds and up; the $75,000 Maryland Racing Media for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up; the $75,000 Miracle Wood Stakes for 3-year-olds, and; the $75,000 Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies.
Source: Laurel Park