Winning Image Seeks First Graded Stakes Win

Winning Image Seeks First Graded Stakes Win
Photo: Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Winning Image

Winning Image has won eight stakes during six seasons, but connections of the 7-year-old mare hope she can add a graded victory to her ledger in the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) Feb. 15 at Laurel Park.

Ten fillies and mares have been entered for the featured event on the 10-race card that also includes the John B. Campbell Handicap. The Fritchie, at seven furlongs, goes as the ninth race with a 4:24 p.m. EST probable post.

Trained by Michael Aro for owner Martin Scafidi, Winning Image showed the way over older fillies and mares in the $100,000 What a Summer Stakes going six furlongs Jan. 25 at Laurel. That victory was the 12th in 26 career starts for the Kentucky-bred daughter of Southern Image  . She reeled off three straight stakes wins last year before finishing ninth in the Presque Isle Masters Stakes (gr. II) won by Groupie Doll, who was on her way to a second straight championship.

Jockey Tony Black, aboard the mare for the first time in the What a Summer Stakes, is back and the pair break from post 6 under a 117-pound impost.

Winning Image may face her stiffest challenge from lightly raced and fast-developing La Verdad, who is making her stakes debut after winning five in a row, all in front-running fashion at Aqueduct Race Track and Belmont Park. Fourth in her debut for owner Lady Sheila Stable and trainer Linda Rice, the speedy daughter of Yes It's True   has now won five of six starts.

My Wandy's Girl, second last year as the 13-10 favorite, is another Fritchie entrant seeking to break through the ranks of graded stakes winners. The 5-year-old Flower Alley   mare trained by Mike Hushion for Guillermo Berrios was a multiple stakes winner and champion 3-year-old imported filly of 2012 in Puerto Rico before returning to the U.S. that fall.

My Wandy's Girl, second in the Ruffian Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct last year, drew the outside post in the Fritchie and will be ridden by Rajiv Maragh. Last year, My Wandy's Girl raced evenly in second throughout as longshot Funnys Girl scored a front-running victory over a sealed track rated muddy.

Baragh, a Shadwell homebred trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, will be making her seventh career start and second in a stake after finishing fourth, 2 1/2 lengths behind Winning Image, in the What a Summer. The 4-year-old Awesome Again   filly has a maiden win and allowance triumph to her credit.

$300,000, Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II, Race 9, 4:24 p.m.), 3 & Up, Fillies and Mares, 7 Furlongs
PP, Horse, Trainer, Weight, Jockey
1.Baragh (KY), K McLaughlin, 111, A Cintron
2.Villette (PA), J Servis, 115, S Elliott
3.Centrique (VA), M Wolfson, 114, E Zayas
4.La Verdad (NY), L Rice, 114, J Ortiz
5.Sunlit City (PA), C Williams, 111, S Russell
6.Winning Image (KY), M Aro, 117, A Black
7.Flattering Bea (KY), C Pickett, 112, S Russell
8.Access to Charlie (MD), L Murray, 113, J Pimentel
9.More Than a Cruise (MD), L Murray, 112, J Pimentel
10.My Wandy's Girl (KY), M Hushion, 119, R Maragh

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