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Grade 1 Winners Among 155 Winter Carnival Nominations
Spiced Perfection Tops $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3)
Mind Control, Firenze Fire Head $250,000 General George (G3)
Five Stakes Worth $800,000 in Purses Saturday, Feb. 15
LAUREL, MD – Grade 1-winning millionaire Spiced Perfection, second to win machine Late Night Pow Wow a year ago, returns among 22 older fillies and mares nominated to the 68th running of the $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie Saturday, Feb. 15 at Laurel Park.
The Barbara Fritchie and 44th renewal of the $250,000 General George (G3) for older horses, both at seven furlongs, highlight a Winter Carnival program that features five stakes worth $800,000 in purses along with ice sculptures, ice carving demonstration, $2,500 ice wall, kids’ crafts and face painting, stakes buffet and Maryland Jockey Club hat giveaway with program purchase, while supplies last.
Also on the Feb. 15 program are a trio of $100,000 stakes – the one-mile Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds and seven-furlong Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies, and the John B. Campbell at about 1 1/16 miles for 4-year-olds and up.
Winter Carnival weekend also includes a Sip n’ Paint Valentine’s Date Night Friday, Feb. 14 and wraps up with a special Presidents Day holiday program Monday, Feb. 17.
Wachtel Stable, Peter Deutsch and Pantofel Stable’s Spiced Perfection came up a head short of Late Night Pow Wow in last year’s Barbara Fritchie before avenging that loss two months later in the Madison (G1) at Keeneland. The 5-year-old mare went on to win the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) and Go for Wand (G3) and was most recently fourth as the favorite in the Inside Information (G2) Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park.
Laurel-loving stablemates Cairenn and Majestic Reason are also nominated. Grade 3-placed Cairenn owns four wins, four seconds and two thirds in 10 tries at Laurel, including a victory in the 2018 Shine Again Stakes. Majestic Reason is nine-for-nine in the money at Laurel, four of them wins, led by the 2018 Miss Disco and 2019 Willa On the Move Dec. 28.
Other nominees include Laurel-based 10-time stakes winner Anna’s Bandit; Blue Eyed Girl, a winner of three straight; 2018 Victory Ride (G3) winner Dixie Serenade; 2019 Santa Anita Oaks (G1) runner-up Flor de La Mar; multiple stakes winners Needs Supervision and Saguaro Row and Victim of Love, exiting a 3 ¾-length triumph in the Jan. 18 What A Summer at Laurel.
Most popular among horsemen with 46 nominations is the General George, led by 2018 Hopeful (G1) and 2019 H. Allen Jerkens (G1) winner Mind Control, coming off a victory in the Toboggan (G3) Jan. 18 at Aqueduct. Mind Control has raced once previously at Laurel, finishing third by a neck in the Concern Stakes last July.
Grade 1-winning millionaire Firenze Fire and Jason Servis-trained stablemates Happy Farm and Sunny Ridge are also prominent among nominees. Firenze Fire has won two straight stakes, the last coming in the Gravesend Dec. 22 at Aqueduct by a head over Happy Farm, the Fall Highweight (G3) winner Dec. 8. Sunny Ridge is a multiple Grade 3-winning millionaire that was most recently third by a head in the Toboggan.
Other notable nominees include 2018 Woody Stephens (G2) winner Still Having Fun, a two-time Laurel stakes winner; Killybegs Captain, winner of the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) last fall at Laurel; 2019 Claiming Crown Express winner Brother Chub; 2018 Federico Tesio winner Diamond King, placed in three graded-stakes last year; multiple stakes winners Clubman and Laki; Jan. 18 Fire Plug Stakes winner Honor the Fleet; 2019 Westchester (G3) winner Nicodemus, second by a head in the Toboggan; Grade 3 winners Strike Power and Phat Man; and Tiz He the One, a winner of five of nine career tries at Laurel topped by the 2019 Challedon.
Runnymoore Racing’s Alwaysmining, cross-nominated in the General George, heads 40 nominees to the John B. Campbell. Trained by Kelly Rubley, Alwaysmining owns six career stakes wins, all at Laurel, including the one-mile Jennings Jan. 18 last out to snap a five-race losing streak.
Also nominated are Someday Jones, who defeated Alwaysmining in the 1 1/8-mile Native Dancer Dec. 28 at Laurel; 2018 Fountain of Youth (G2) runner-up Bourbon War and Mark Hennig-trained stablemate Kid Bourbon; John Jones, a stakes winner on turf and dirt; 2019 Claiming Crown Jewel winner Leitone and graded-stakes winning stablemate Monongahela; and local stakes winner Taco Supream.
Max Player, winner of the Withers (G3) Feb. 1 at Aqueduct; Monday Morning Qb, New Commission, Lebda and Romanoff, the top four finishers from the Heft Stakes Dec. 28 at Laurel; and Ournationonparade, unraced since winning the Maryland Million Nursery Oct. 19, top 21 horses nominated to the Miracle Wood.
The Wide Country attracted 26 nominees including Bella Aurora, Ankle Monitor and Naughty Thoughts, respectively 1-2-3 in the Gin Talking Stakes Dec. 28 at Laurel; Cruise and Danze, Panthera Onca and Miss Marissa, the first three finishers from the Jan. 26 Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct; and Mo City, runner-up in the Gasparilla Stakes Jan. 18 at Tampa Bay Downs.