Homebred Miss Harriett zips to Wide Country win

First, in 2012, there was Keep Momma Happy, then Miss Edmund and a few years later Cheese On. All three, all offspring of the Sea of Secrets mare Tejano Sea, won at first asking. 

The story doesn’t end there, though. In fact, it might even be getting better.

Last fall Miss Harriett became the fourth of Tejano Sea’s nine offspring to race to win at first asking when she bombs-awayed the Maryland Million Lassie at 62-1. She hasn’t stopped running since, and on Saturday she flaunted her speed to win the $100,000 Wide Country Stakes at Laurel Park.

The win was her third in four career outings and pushed her bankroll to more than $150,000.

“She’s been a really honest, honest filly,” said owner-breeder David Baxter, whose nom de course is Narrow Leaf Farm. “We just didn’t know how far she can go, and I think we still don’t.”

Her prior wins had come at 5 ½ and 6 furlongs; today’s shows seven is not beyond the Blofeld filly’s scope.

Under jockey Jaime Rodriguez, who won both of the day’s Laurel Park stakes, Miss Harriett zipped to the early lead while pressed by Kissedbyanangel through an opener in 23.46 seconds. That was a modest enough tempo for a filly with plenty of natural speed, and she soon disposed of her speed rival. In the lane she kicked well clear, opening a 2 ½-length advantage with a furlong to go.

Determined Driver made a willing try of it, chopping the deficit to three parts of a length at the wire, but was never truly a threat to win. It was another 1 ¼ lengths back to last month’s Xtra Heat winner, Roanan Goddess, who finished third.

“She’s got a lot of heart,” Baxter said. “She just keeps going, and we’ll just take it and have a lot of fun and see how far we go.

Off as the favorite, Miss Harriett paid $5.00 to win and topped an exacta that returned $19.00 for a buck. Running time for the seven furlongs on a fast main track was 1:26.14.


Baxter and his father, Edmund Baxter, bought Tejano Sea in 2006 as a two-year-old in training for $27,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic summer sale of two-year-olds in training. She went on to win three of 15 starts and earn over $69,000. But it’s in the breeding shed she’s really thrived, with two of her offspring, Keep Momma Happy and Miss Harriett, winning stakes and a third, Hemp, having placed in the Grade 3 Chick Lang in 2021.

Miss Harriett
Miss Harriett won the Wide Country Stakes at Laurel Park. Photo by Jim McCue.

“It’s always fun. It means a little bit more when you bred it, and she’s a homebred,” Baxter said. “I bought the mare with my father in ‘06, so, you know, family all the time.”

Baxter said that he and trainer Brandon McFarlane have “been trying to give her plenty of time to let her grow a little bit,” so the next Maryland sophomore filly stake, the March 23 Beyond the Wire, is not a certainty. 

One race later, in the $100,000 Miracle Wood for three-year-olds, Jaime Rodriguez reprised his role as jockey on the main speed, pressing Sweet Soddy J briefly before taking over and going on to win by 1 ½ lengths as the 4-5 favorite.

Just as Miss Harriett’s win was sire Blofeld’s second stakes win in a week – his prior having come with Charming Way last Saturday at Laurel – so Speedyness’ triumph was trainer Jamie Ness’s second in a week, his prior also having come with Charming Way.

But while that runner was an astute claim, this one, a Great Notion gelding, is a homebred for Ness’s Jagger Inc., which co-owns the horse with Morris Kernan. It was the first stakes win for Speedyness and his fourth victory in his last five starts, pushing him to more than $220,000 in earnings to date.

In the process, Speedyness defeated Regalo, Starswithadream, and Circle P, all runners who, unlike Speedyness, are nominated to the Triple Crown. The best finish of that trio belonged to the Flint Stites-trained Circle P, who finished third.

The next local stop for the sophomore set is the March 23 Private Terms, followed in April by the Federico Tesio Stakes. The latter is a win-and-in for the Grade 1 Preakness.