Glass Ceiling shatters Barbara Fritchie Stakes

Glass Ceiling
Glass Ceiling prevailed in the G3 Barbara Fritchie Stakes. Photo Jerry Dzierwinski.

For the first 20 races of her career, Glass Ceiling was what they call in the racing game “just a horse.” 

She’d won three times but gone more than a year without a victory. She was, in fact, still eligible for a first-level allowance. She was fine, but as a runner, nothing special.

But that was then, and this, five races farther on, is now. And now Glass Ceiling is a graded stakes winner. The Charlton Baker trainee had to scrap for it this afternoon but ultimately proved best, winning the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie Stakes at Laurel Park by a half-length.

“I think she matured, and we got her to calm down,” Baker said afterwards. “She just started relaxing, started settling down, and she just came to herself when she started doing that.”

Baker, who co-owns the five-year-old Constitution mare with Michael Foster, claimed her last May for $40,000 out of a race at Belmont Park.

“I was thinking immediately [she could win] the a-other-than [allowance] because she was knocking on the door,” Baker explained. “I figured she would eventually win that, and we could go through winter and battle with her. But once she started running good numbers, I said, ‘OK, we’re going to try to win a graded stake.’”

Glass Ceiling finally broke through in the a-other-than in September – her fourth start in Baker’s barn – and hasn’t looked back since. She followed the allowance win up with a near-miss second in the Pumpkin Pie Stakes behind next-out Grade 3 winner Lady Rocket before winning the Garland of Roses easily at Aqueduct.

That, followed by a five-length allowance score Jan. 23 at Aqueduct, convinced Baker it was time to try graded company.

The bettors were convinced, too: they made her the 9-10 post-time favorite.

But no one told the Mike Trombetta-trained Jakarta, and that speedy seven-year-old gave Glass Ceiling all she wanted and then some. Jakarta led after the first two calls, getting the half-mile in 46.21 seconds, and was stubborn to the end, finishing less than a length behind the winner while a half-length in front of show horse Fille d’Esprit.

Running time for the seven furlongs was 1:23.82. Glass Ceiling paid $3.80 to win.

“She’s pretty tactical, so I was able to get to Jakarta pretty nicely, but then we turned for home and Jakarta was fighting me pretty well,” said winning rider Dylan Davis. 

“She’s very gutsy. Once she was sitting on the other horse, I knew she was going to fight,” Baker said. “She gets that winning feeling, and right now, she wants to win races.”

Davis gave up a Saturday of riding at Aqueduct to pilot Glass Ceiling for the sixth consecutive outing. They have won four of those.

Like Baker, Davis said he has seen Glass Celing mature over their time together.

“I just feel like she’s improved as an older mare,” Davis said. “I never got on her earlier in her career, but it just looks like on the PPs that she’s really figuring things out and she’s moving well, and I just think the maturity is really helping us.”

Davis rarely rides at Laurel, and though he had three mounts here today, this was the reason he came down from New York.

“It’s my first time in the winner’s circle here,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a good race to choose, right?”

NOTES Kiss the Girl and Victor Carrasco prevailed in the Nellie Morse Stakes for her second consecutive stakes win. The Mike Trombetta trainee prevailed over Artful Splatter and 7-10 favorite Miss Leslie for her eighth career win. She’s now earned more than $450,000… Galerio snapped an eight-race losing streak to win the John B. Campbell Stakes by a nose over Forewarned. J. D. Acosta was aboard the John Salzman, Jr. trainee, who won the first stake, and 10th race overall, of his career while pushing his earnings past $500,000…It was the second stakes win of the day for the combination of Salzman, Acosta, and owner Bird Mobberley LLC. They also won the Miracle Wood with Local Motive… Carrasco also won the G3 General George aboard Cordmaker… .