Ms Locust Point galloped to her first graded victory in the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park on Saturday, going straight to the front under jockey Jorge Vargas Jr. and posting an easy 4 1/2-length score.
In all fairness, the Grade 2 Fritchie wasn’t a true test for Ms Locust Point because the race fell apart as a result of the equine herpesvirus quarantine at Belmont Park. The race’s six scratches left only five starters.
Ms Locust Point is now 6 for 8 in her career. Trainer John Servis said a logical next start for Ms Locust Point would be the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland in April.
Like the Fritchie, the $300,000 Madison on April 7 is a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares.
In a snowstorm and over a sloppy track, Ms Locust Point sprinted off to a clear early lead in the Fritchie. She was never seriously threatened thereafter.
Vargas said she settled nicely for him during the race.
“It’s amazing how she does things,” he said. “She does it so easy, she just makes her own trips.”
Ms Locust Point’s two losses came in her career debut at Parx Racing in October 2016, when she finished second, and in the Grade 2 Forward Gal at Gulfstream Park in February 2017, when she tired to finish fifth as the favorite.
Ms Locust Point was dealing with a foot problem at the time of the Forward Gal. Servis said he thought the issue was under control, but after the race Ms Locust Point went to the sidelines for nine months.
In the winner’s circle after the Fritchie, Servis thanked co-owner Jim Reichenberg for giving him the time he needed to get Ms Locust Point’s foot right.
“It’s paying off in bunches now,” Servis told Reichenberg.
Ms Locust Point’s feet still need constant attention, according to Servis, and she races in glue-on shoes.
Ms Locust Point’s majority owner is the Cash Is King Stable of Chuck Zacney. Ms Locust Point paid $3.20 as the favorite and was timed in 1:24.13, .82 seconds slower than Something Awesome ran to win the Grade 3 General George 35 minutes earlier.
Moiety, who chased Ms Locust Point throughout, held second by 1 1/2 lengths over 3-2 second choice Berned, who lagged well back early and then finished willingly under the testing conditions.