In the latest edition of our weekly feature with Maryland racing analyst Gabby Gaudet, she plays a Pick 3 and digs into the G2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap.
RACE 8 — G2 BARBARA FRITCHIE HANDICAP
The skinny: Fillies and mares, 3yo and up, going 7 furlongs
Notably: G1 winner Sam’s Sister makes her first foray outside of Southern California to tackle a good group of Eastern horses.
Gabby’s take: “The question you have to answer is: Is Lady Sabelia Grade 2 quality? What kind of quality is she?”
[boxify cols_use =”3″ cols =”6″ position =”right” box_spacing =”5″ padding =”3″ background_color =”gray” background_opacity =”10″ border_width =”1″ border_color =”blue” border_style =”solid” height =”220″ ]GABBY’S PICK THREE TICKET
- Race 7 – 1, 3, 7
- Race 8 – 1, 5, 7, 9, 10
- Race 9 – 1, 4, 5, 8
- Ticket cost ($0.50 unit): $30[/boxify]
SCOPING OUT THE FRITCHIE[su_list icon=”icon: check”]
- The particulars: Fillies and mares, 3yo and up, 7 furlongs
- Conditions: Grade 2, $300,000
- Post time: 3:57 EST.
- The favorite: #10 Sam’s Sister (5-2) has won five of six starts, including a Grade 1 and a Grade 2. She’s undefeated at today’s 7-furlong distance and, in the G1 La Brea, defeated ultra-talented Taris and Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint show horse Thank You Marylou. All in all, she’s been keeping the right kind of company — and earning the right results — to shine in here. Closer has — unusually — thrived at speed-favoring Santa Anita. But this is her first trip outside of balmy Southern Cal, and Gabby says that that could be a concern. “Shipping across the country is one area where she might be vulnerable,” she says. “Plus, this is a completely different, deeper track than Santa Anita.” For added intrigue, despite the flashy company, her Beyer speed figures are a cut below the speediest runners in here. Still, assistant trainer Dan Ward says this is a filly who always gives 110 percent, and it’s hard to ignore the horses she’s beaten. Bottom line: Worth keeping on the multi-race ticket, but not the top pick.
- The pick: #9 Lady Sabelia (7-2) is as hot as she can be right now, having won three straight and four of five. She’s won five of 10 over the strip and her only try at the distance. Back in December, she posted a dominant, front-running score in the Willa on the Move; and in her last, she showed a different dimension, stalking from fifth before sweeping up wide on the turn to win the What A Summer. She’s posted three good works since, including a ridiculously fast bullet 5/8 on February 8. The questions she’ll face: who, ultimately, has she really beaten? And is she more of a six-furlong horse? Gabby’s response: “I don’t see distance as a problem,” she says. “She won nicely in her only try at seven furlongs. I just think everything’s going her way right now. I think they’ve figured her out, she’s matured into herself, and I’m not going to go against her.” Bottom line: The pick.
- Don’t sleep on: #1 Princess Violet (3-1) and rider Jose Ortiz have teamed up to win four of seven starts with two seconds, and the pair ship in today with a legit shot. This four-year-old Officer filly ran second (by a lot) to Untapable in the G1 Mother Goose and just missed last out in the G3 Go for Wand in a race in which she had a somewhat troubled trip. Typically a closing sort, she may find herself with some work to do in the late stages today, so racing luck may play a factor. Trainer Mike Hushion says he’s pointed to this race for three months, “always a positive,” says Gabby. Breaking from the one-hole means she’ll get to go the short way around (and have to hope that’s the spot to be), but as a closer, “she’s going to need the parting of the seas,” Gabby says. Bottom line: Keep on the ticket.
- The longshot: #7 Before You Know It (15-1) has some questions to answer. A $20,000 claim back in October, she’s certainly paid dividends for trainer Claudio Gonzalez, winning three times before running second in the Nellie Morse. She likes the strip (three wins in six tries) and owns a win at the distance — but beating allowance rivals isn’t quite the same as beating Grade 2 runners, and that’s a big step to take. She was clearly beaten by Star Pearl in the Nellie Morse, though Gabby points out, “She was really keen and headstrong that day.” She adds, “I like her turning back to seven furlongs and think she’s better at one-turn distances.” Bottom line: Worth a gander.
LADY SABELIA — WHAT A SUMMER S.
In the video below, Lady Sabelia, #6 (in gray and pink) shows a new dimension, biding her time in fifth, just behind the leaders, before sweeping up while wide on the turn to take the lead and win.[su_video url=”https://www.theracingbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ladysabelia.mp4.mp4″ poster=”https://www.theracingbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/never-8656.jpg” title=”Lady Sabelia rolls in the What A Summer Stakes.” width=”420″]
(Featured image, of Ben’s Cat, by Laurie Asseo.)