02/08/2017 12:20PM

High Ridge Road gets green light for Barbara Fritchie

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
All four of High Ridge Road’s victories have come at a one-turn mile, but she will have to shorten up a furlong in the Barbara Fritchie.

High Ridge Road has done little wrong since joining Linda Rice’s stable early last year and will shoot for her first graded victory a week from Saturday in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park. The $300,000 Fritchie, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares, will be the headliner on a six-stakes card that will include the Grade 3, $250,000 General George, a seven-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up.

Since owner Martin Schwartz transferred High Ridge Road to Rice, she has won 3 of 5 starts, with all of her wins coming at Laurel, including the $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go on Dec. 31. In her start prior to the Thirty Eight Go Go, High Ridge Road missed by a nose in the Grade 3 Go for Wand at Aqueduct.

Rice and Schwartz have shown great patience to get High Ridge Road, a 5-year-old daughter of Quality Road, to this point in her career.

“When we picked her up last winter, she wasn’t really going the right way, so we sent her to the farm,” Rice said.

High Ridge Road returned in the spring to win first- and second-level allowance races by six and nine lengths. In her first stakes start, the Lady’s Secret at Monmouth Park, she ran evenly to finish fourth.

“She bled through Lasix at Monmouth, so we stopped on her again,” Rice said. “Mr. Schwartz was great about letting us turn her out a second time.”

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Following a five-month layoff, High Ridge Road returned in the Go for Wand, a one-turn mile. She rallied from several lengths back to finish second, beaten a nose in a three-way photo.

“I kind of took a shot by running her first time back in the Go for Wand,” Rice said. “But I didn’t think it was the toughest race, and I thought she might get the right setup. It was a chance to get some graded money for her, and she darn near won it.”

In the one-mile Thirty Eight Go Go, High Ridge Road was hard-ridden on the far turn to go after odds-on favorite By the Moon, who had easily taken the lead from the early pacesetters. High Ridge Road headed By the Moon in midstretch and then held her at bay to score by a half-length. Horacio Karamanos, who rode her that day, will be back aboard for the Fritchie.

All four of High Ridge Road’s victories have come at a one-turn mile, but she will have to shorten up a furlong in the Fritchie.

“She likes one turn, and I’m sure she’ll run well cutting back to seven furlongs,” Rice said. “The question is whether others in the race will like the distance better than she will.”

◗ There are three carryovers at Laurel on Friday. The late pick five, with a 12 percent takeout, has a carryover of $4,704, the Rainbow 6 carryover is $3,496, and the Super High 5 on race 1 has a carryover of $2,939.