Photo Essay: Fritchie day in pictures
Photographer Allison Janezic was on the scene at Laurel Park this past Saturday for the running of the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie Stakes, Grade 3 General George, and four other stakes races. Plus, there were plenty of other things to see, and she saw al of ’em.
Here’s what the day looked like through her eyes, with quotes from some of the participants:
NIMITZ CLASS was about as impressive as any runner on the card. The four-year-old Munnings colt thrashed what seemed a competitive group in the John B. Campbell Stakes, trouncing runner-up Ournationonparade, winner of last fall’s Maryland Million Classic, by 4 ½ lengths. Nimitz Class got the 1 1/16-mile distance in a sharp 1:42.29.
RICHARD MONTERREY exulted after earning his first graded stakes win, aboard Swayin to and Fro in the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie
“It’s my first graded stakes win, and it feels so good… I retired for five years, and the reason was the struggle from the weight to the loss of the passion of the game because you work so hard, you try to get opportunities that you don’t get, and when that is vanishing, you can start losing the passion… It took me five years to realize that this is what I love.”
A CROWD gathered on the track to celebrate the life of recently deceased young jockey Avery Whisman and to raise awareness of the mental and emotional challenges faced by jockeys.
WILL HUMPHREY also logged his first graded stakes win, aboard Eastern Bay in the General George.
“To be honest with you I’m feeling very much purely for Avery. Obviously, this was his favorite horse and his most winning horse and I’m in exactly the same position. He means the world to me, and it’s like a dream come true and the stars all aligned.”
HORACIO DE PAZ was suitably impressed with STONEWALL STAR after she absolutely destroyed the field in the Wide Country for three-year-old fillies. The Flatter filly didn’t go off the favorite but sure ran like it, winning by 11 lengths.
“She’s definitely filled out much more than what she was, and you know, mentally she’s just really in the zone right now.”
SWAYIN TO AND FRO’s win in the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie was a first in graded company for both rider Richard Monterrey and trainer Mario Serey.
“I told everybody when I claimed this filly and I saw the potential and I saw the talent, every race she proved it. I’m so proud of her. This is a great, great filly,” Serey said. “When I claimed her, I talked to the owner and [said], ‘This is a stakes winner.’ The class and the talent of the horse, they tell you right away.”
JEVIAN TOLEDO won three consecutive races, including back-to-back stakes with Nimitz Class and, here, with Hybrid Eclipse for trainer Brittany Russell.
“We kind of started right behind the speed, and she was traveling really good. And then by the three-eighths, the horse started going away from her. She got some dirt in the face, and she kind of like put the head up. But as soon as we got to the clear, she picked the bridle back up and she picked it up right away.”