Late Night Pow Wow looks for 9 straight in Fritchie
Breeze Easy’s Grade 3 winner Late Night Pow Wow, her streak having grown to eight races since the only loss of her career 10 months ago, will face the toughest test yet in her return to graded-stakes competition for Saturday’s $250,000 Barbara Fritchie (G3) at Laurel Park.
The 67th running of the Barbara Fritchie for fillies and mares 4 and older and the 43rd renewal of the $250,000 General George (G3) for 4-year-olds and up, both at seven furlongs, co-headline a 10-race Winter Carnival program that features five stakes worth $800,000 in purses.
A trio of $100,000 stakes are also on tap – the one-mile Miracle Wood presented by Blackwell Real Estate for 3-year-olds and Wide Country at about 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old fillies, and the 1 1/8-mile John B. Campbell presented by Fidelity First for 4-year-olds and up.
First race post time is 12:30 p.m.
The Barbara Fritchie has attracted a contentious field of 11 including defending champion Ms Locust Point, a career earner of $507,435 in purses; Spiced Perfection, winner of the La Brea (G1) to cap her 2018 campaign; Laurel-based stakes winners Shimmering Aspen and Timeless Curls; and out-of-town stakes winners Dawn the Destroyer, 2018 Gallant Bloom (G2) runner-up Your Love and Late Night Pow Wow’s Javier Contreras-trained stablemate Devine Mischief.
Late Night Pow Wow (pictured above, photo by Laurie Asseo) is 7-2 on the morning line, the second choice.
Spiced Perfection, purchased privately by Adam Wachtel of Wachtel Stable and transferred last week to trainer Peter Miller in California, is taking advantage of a Maryland Jockey Club policy initiated for 2019 waiving the entering and starting fees for any Grade 1 winner in the past 12 months that runs in an MJC stakes, excluding the May 18 Preakness (G1). She is the 3-1 favorite on the morning line.
Late Night Pow Wow made each of her first nine starts at Charles Town with Contreras as owner-trainer, before he sold the 4-year-old West Virginia-bred daughter of Fiber Sonde to Mike Hall and Sam Ross of Breeze Easy. She hasn’t missed a beat, running her consecutive stakes streak to five.
“I’m always confident in her,” Contreras said. “Races like this are going to draw some decent horses … so she’s going to have to earn it. But, she’s doing very well.”
Late Night Pow Wow is undefeated in four career starts at the Barbara Fritchie distance as well as two tries over Laurel’s main track, taking the Willa On the Move in November to cap her 2018 season and the What A Summer Jan. 12 by a combined 11 ¼ lengths. In her only previous graded attempt, she captured the seven-furlong Charles Town Oaks (G3) Sept. 22.
“I don’t really want to say I expect her to run the same race as she has been, but I’m hoping she does. She has come into this race as good as she has come to every one of her races. She’s been pretty amazing,” Contreras said. “I’m very excited. I’m always excited to run her. I love watching her run and, obviously, I love the results. I’d love to win another graded-stakes with her.”
Charles Town’s Fredy Peltroche, aboard for each of Late Night Pow Wow’s races, rides again from Post 2 at 122 pounds, two fewer than topweight Spiced Perfection.
As he did in the What A Summer, Contreras also entered Breeze Easy’s Devine Mischief, winner of the 6 ½-furlong Ruling Angel Stakes over Woodbine’s synthetic surface in October in her 3-year-old finale. She rallied up the rail to get second by a neck in the What A Summer.
“I thought she ran a good race last time,” Contreras said. “She came out of the race very good, very happy, and she has continued on well and moved forward quite a bit. I’m very happy with her.”
Horacio Karamanos has the call from Post 7 at 120 pounds. The Fritchie is race nine, with a post time of 4:30 p.m.