02/13/2016 5:17PM

Dancing House heads all-McLaughlin exacta in Barbara Fritchie

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Dancing House, ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, wins the first stakes of her career in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie.

LAUREL, Md. - Dancing House has come back strong following a nine-month layoff and won the first stakes of her career in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park on Saturday. Her stablemate Clothes Fall Off came running late to complete a Kiaran McLaughlin-trained exacta worth $107.20.

“That was fabulous. I was very excited," McLaughlin said. "It was a very tough race. I’m very, very happy to be first and second."

Less than two hours earlier, McLaughlin won the Grade 2, $200,000 Royal Delta Stakes at Gulfstream Park with Penwith.

Dancing House ($10.80), a 5-year-old daughter of Tapit owned by Godolphin Racing, didn't have the easiest of trips. She hopped in the air at the start and then bobbled. She recovered quickly under jockey Kendrick Carmouche and moved up to press the early pace in the seven-furlong Fritchie outside 9-5 second choice Hot City Girl.

Lady Sabelia, the 3-2 favorite, joined the leaders three wide on the far turn, and gained a short lead in midstretch. Dancing House battled back, though, and gained the upper hand. She then held Clothes Fall Off safe by 1 3/4 lengths.

Lady Sabelia, the winner of last year's Fritchie, finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Clothes Fall Off. Lady Sabelia was rated off the early pace between horses, made a bold move to contention nearing the stretch but flattened out late.

Sweet on Smokey, the longest shot on the board at 50-1, finished fourth, a nose behind Lady Sabelia in the seven-horse field. Hot City Girl tired to finish sixth. Wonder Gal, who tracked the early leaders in third, was fifth.

Dancing House has had two lengthy layoffs in her career, including one from last April to January, when she had an ankle chip removed. In her comeback race, she finished second to Eclipse Award winner La Verdad in the Interborough Stakes at Aqueduct.

“She was third in the Spinaway as a 2-year-old and then we went turf," McLaughlin said. "We went back to dirt and she’s 2 for 3 now and second to La Verdad. It's nice to get her a Grade 2 win."

McLaughlin said he didn't have any next race plans.

"We’ve been pointing to this for a while with both of them," he said.

Clothes Fall, 4, came into the Fritchie off a 5 1/2-furlong track-record performance over the Aqueduct inner track but was moving up in company in the Fritchie. She raced along the inside early, then came outside horses and finished well.