Wins Fritchie, Sets Stakes Mark
by Blood-Horse Staff
Xtra Heat set a stakes record with Barbara Fritchie victory.
Under a thick blanket of fog Saturday, Xtra Heat captured a record 25th career
stakes victory in the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) on a sloppy
track at Laurel Park.
The seven-furlong heat figured to be a battle between
Xtra Heat and Carson Hollow. But after Carson Hollow, with
Kent Desormeaux riding, dueled for the early lead in an
opening quarter-mile of :22 4/5, Xtra Heat was able to
fight her way to the front through a half-mile in :45 2/5
and cleared off to establish a commanding lead in the stretch.
Jockey Rick Wilson eased the favorite home by 1 3/4 length
over Carson Hollow in a final time of 1:24.76. Spelling
Trainer John Salzman was concerned about how his 5-year-old
mare would respond to the off track after she was beaten
on a muddy Aqueduct surface in December. But he was committed
to run her after waiting a week for the weather to clear
well enough to run the Fritchie, which was originally scheduled
"I didn't have any trouble around the track," Wilson
said. "John (trainer Salzman) was a little ticked
off that we didn't make the lead, and he had told me earlier
in the week that if I didn't make the lead he was going
to kick my butt. I wanted Kent to think that I was getting
in to her at the three-eighth pole so that he would move
with me, but once we got in front, I was sure we were a
Desormeaux said Carson Hollow struggled to handle the
course dwon the backstretch.
"A hundred yards into the turn Rick seemed to be
going for the lead which shocked me, because I didn't think
he would try to move that early and I didn't want to let
him go," he said. "He got me today, but I still
think my horse is the best and was the classiest horse
in the race."
With the victory in the Fritchie, Xtra Heat became the
all-time leading female stakes winner. The 2001 Eclipse
Award winner as top 3-year-old filly was tied with Susan's
Girl with 24 added money victories.
"She is game and she proved how good she was today," Salzman
said. "That other filly had never been outrun except
for the day she was sick at the Breeders' Cup. She deserves
this record. You look at her and she is truly amazing."
The daughter of Dixieland Heat, now victorious in 26 of
35 career starts, picked up $120,000 for owner Classic
Star Stable. She has career earnings of $2,389,635.
Xtra Heat paid $4, $2.60 and $2.10. Carson Hollow returned
$3 and $2.10. Spelling paid $2.10 to show. The $2 exacta