Pulls Clear of Favored Chickieness Late in 3YO Filly Sprint
BALTIMORE – Madaket Stables’ L Street Lady, making just her third career start and first in a stakes, pressed favored Chickieness before taking over at the top of the stretch and sprinting clear to a 2 ¼-length triumph in Saturday’s $100,000 Xtra Heat at Laurel Park.
The sixth running of the six-furlong Xtra Heat for 3-year-old fillies was the first of six stakes worth $550,000 in purses on a Winter Sprintfest program anchored by the $100,000 Spectacular Bid for 3-year-olds.
Ridden by Jevian Toledo for trainer Brittany Russell, L Street Lady ($4.80) completed the distance in 1:12.81 over a fast main track for her second straight win, both over the main track, after running third in her unveiling last October over the Laurel turf.
“The first time she probably needed that education. She learned a lot,” Russell said. “She broke her maiden the next time very professionally, so I had confidence mentally she could handle it.”
Chickieness, the Maryland Million Lassie winner last October that came into the Xtra Heat off a 3 ¾-length score sprinting 5 ½ furlongs in mid-December, broke sharply from the rail and took the lead where she was quickly joined by L Street Lady to her outside through fractions of 23.02 and 47.63 seconds. The top two steadily opened up on the competition and raced together until straightening for home when L Street Lady took command and drew away.
“I just sort of told Toledo to be smart and stay on her. We knew the filly inside her was going to go so you didn’t want to let her get too much of an advantage,” Russell said. “He did a great job. It was a great setup and she responded at the end.”
Chickieness was 8 ¾ lengths ahead of We’ll See in third, followed by Filtered Light and Grace and Charm. Ojitos Bellos was scratched.
Named for the Maryland-based Hall of Fame mare, the Xtra Heat is the first in the state’s series of stakes for 3-year-old fillies leading up to the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 19 at historic Pimlico Race Course. Next up is the seven-furlong, $100,000 Wide Country Feb. 18, one-mile, $100,000 Beyond the Wire March 18 and 1 1/16-mile, $125,000 Weber City Miss April 22, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier to the 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan.
“I’ll talk to the group,” Russell said. “We’ll enjoy today and make a decision.”
The Xtra Heat honors the champion 3-year-old filly of 2001 and 2015 Hall of Famer that won 26 races, 25 in stakes, and nearly $2.4 million in purses from 36 starts between 2000 and 2003. Racing primarily for Marylanders Harry Deitchman and Kenneth Taylor and trainer John Salzman Sr., who purchased her for $5,000 as a 2-year-old in training, she won at least one graded-stakes every year she raced and 11 in all, including the Prioress (G1) and back-to-back editions of the Barbara Fritchie (G2), and was also multiple Grade 1-placed against males.