La Verdad Favored in Redrawn Barbara Fritchie

Lady Sheila Stable's La Verdad will make her stakes debut as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the rescheduled $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) set for Saturday, Feb. 22 at Laurel Park.

Bad weather forced the seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares to be postponed Feb. 15. La Verdad drew post 3 in the field of seven entered Feb. 19 for the rescheduled event. 

Following the new draw, the field was down from 10 entered for the originally scheduled race, with four departures and one addition. Two original entrants, Winning Image and Villette, are not permitted to leave Parx Racing because of a quarantine at the Philadelphia track, and the connections of two other fillies and mares opted for new plans.

La Verdad was entered for the originally scheduled race as well. After finishing off the board in her debut, the New York-bred 4-year-old Yes It's True   filly has reeled off five straight front-running victories, four against allowance/optional claiming company and a maiden win all at New York tracks. Jose Ortiz has been aboard in all her starts for trainer Linda Rice.

"We are ready to try stakes company and the timing is right," Rice said. "She is a big filly with a lot of natural speed. We were hoping to rate her off the pace last time but it didn't work out. We'll see how she does with the added distance."   

Also back are second-choice (2-1 morning-line) Centrique, winner of the Claiming Crown Glass Slipper Stakes at Gulfstream Park; and last year's Fritchie runner-up My Wandy's Girl.

Joining the field will be William Parsons Jr. and David Howe's Merry Meadow, a daughter of Henny Hughes who has placed in 17 or her 18 career starts including an allowance victory earlier this month at Aqueduct Racetrack.

$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. Centrique (VA), V. Carrasco, 114, M. Wolfson
2. Flattering Bea (KY), S. Russell, 112, C. Pickett
3. La Verdad (NY), J. Ortiz, 114, L. Rice
4. My Wandy's Girl (KY), R. Maragh, 119, M. Hushion
5. Merry Meadow (KY), F. Boyce, 112, M. Hennig
6. Baragh (KY), A. Cintron, 111, K. McLaughlin
7. Access to Charlie (MD), J. Pimentel, 113, L. Murray

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