LAUREL, MD – Hillwood Stable and Richard Golden’s Majestic Reason pulled off the 10/1 upset while earning her second straight stakes score in Saturday’s $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie Stakes (G3) at Laurel Park.
Breaking from post 4 under Trevor McCarthy as the longest shot in the field of six, Majestic Reason settled into a close stalking position along the rail. Just ahead of her, Blue Eyed Girl narrowly led Victim of Love through opening fractions of :23.79 and :46.87.
Though she fell off midway through the far turn, McCarthy kept Majestic Reason to task and tipped her out three-wide at the top of the stretch. Grinding away steadily in the stretch, Majestic Reason stole command near the 1/16 pole before pulling away late.
As McCarthy stood victoriously in the irons, the Graham Motion trainee crossed 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Victim of Love in a final time of 1:23.35 for the 7-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“It worked out perfectly with two speed horses vying and we were able to sit right behind them,” McCarthy said. “We had a nice, easy pace. She’s a filly that doesn’t like to be rushed. The (distance) was a bit of a question, but she got the right trip today. It was a great job by Graham. It’s always special when we win races for Graham. He’s been the main supporter of my career and started me out. It’s a special moment. It’s definitely a race that has been on my bucket list for a while.”
Anna’s Bandit snuck up for third ahead of Needs Supervision and a weakening Blue Eyed Girl. Saguaro Row, the 4/5 favorite, never found her best footing and finished last.
Majestic Reason’s win, her first at the graded level, was her second straight following the local 6-furlong Willa On the Move Stakes and improved her overall record to 13-6-4-2. The Maryland-bred 5-year-old daughter of Majestic Warrior has now earned $462,998.
“I wanted to put her away for the winter, but I just couldn’t not point for this race,” Motion said. “It’s just too big a deal. It’s a graded race, it’s right here at Laurel and she loves Laurel, and she was doing great coming off a big win. There was discussion about retiring her or giving her the winter off, but I’m glad we stayed the course.”
Majestic Reason returned $22.20 to win, $7.80 to place, and $5.20 to show. Victim of Love brought back $8.20 to place and $6.20 to show, while Anna’s Bandit paid $5.40 to show.