Lady Sabelia returns in Primonetta Stakes
Photo by Laurie Asseo
from a Maryland Jockey Club release
Mrs. Frank P. Wright’s Grade 2-winning homebred Lady Sabelia, a winner of eight of her last 12 races, meets seven others Saturday in the $75,000 Primonetta Stakes.
Along with Lady Sabelia, a winner of nearly $700,000 for trained by Robin Graham and jockey Horacio Karamanos, the Primonetta drew Love Came to Town, a 5 1/2-length winner Jan. 2 of the Nellie Morse, and Flattering Bea, who ships in from Charles Town.
First race post Friday through Sunday is 1:10 p.m. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
A 6-year-old daughter of Majestic Warrior, Lady Sabelia has been a model of consistency, especially at Laurel Park where she has won seven of 13 races, including the 2015 Barbara Fritchie (G2), the 2014 and 2015 What A Summer and Willa On the Move Stakes, and 2013 Safely Kept.
After ending her 2015 season with victories Nov. 1 at Belmont Park in the Pumpkin Pie and Dec. 5 in Laurel’s Willa On the Move, Lady Sabelia finished third Feb. 13 in her attempt to defend her title in the Barbara Fritchie.
Since the Fritchie, Lady Sabelia has worked three times, the most recent being a half-mile workout March 19 in :46.60, the fastest clocking of 81.
“She kind of overdid it herself,” said Graham of the March 19 work. “A horse had broken off about a sixteenth of a mile in front of her. I didn’t think she could see it. Evidently she could, and she was hell bent to catch it. But she was very good, just looked like she was galloping, and came back like she had done nothing, so everything was great.”
When asked if the mare’s record at Laurel was the main reason for going in the Primonetta, Graham replied; “Yes, we’re right here so we might as well do everything we can here.”
Trainer Kevin Sleeter will saddle Love Came to Town. The 4-year-old Medalist filly made her Laurel debut when winning the Nellie Morse. Love Came to Town reeled off three consecutive victories last summer at Monmouth Park and Parx before finishing seventh in the Monmouth Oaks (G3). She has won two of her last five races with three seconds.
“She’s doing good and she’s been working really good,” Sleeter said. “We missed like a month or more with her because of the track closing at Parx, but everything’s good.”
Flattering Bea, a multiple-stakes winner at Charles Town, will be making her first start since Sept. 19 when she was third in the Pink Ribbon Stakes. The 6-year-old Flatter mare finished fifth last year at Pimlico in the Skipat, seventh in the Fritchie and 10th in the Shine Again at Saratoga.
The Primonetta is rounded out by Willa On the Move runner-up Disco Chick, What A Summer runner-up Raging Smoke, What A Summer winner Sweet On Smokey (fourth in the Fritchie), Dallas Cowgirl and Court Dancer, a winner Feb. 21 at Aqueduct of the Broadway Stakes.