Hello Beautiful Kicks Off 2021 Campaign In Laurel Park’s What A Summer

With an eye on the future and a nod to her successful past, Madaket Stables, Albert Frassetto, Mark Parkinson, K-Mac Stables and Magic City Stables’ multiple stakes winner Hello Beautiful will open her 4-year-old season in Saturday’s $100,000 What a Summer at Laurel Park.

The 35th running of the What a Summer for fillies and mares 4 and older and 25th renewal of the $100,000 Fire Plug for 4-year-olds and up, both sprinting six furlongs, are among six stakes worth $550,000 in purses on a Winter Carnival program that kicks off Maryland’s 2021 stakes calendar.

Post time for the first of nine races is 12:25 p.m.

Hello Beautiful, by Golden Lad, won back-to-back stakes to cap both her 2 and 3-year-old seasons, taking the Maryland Million Lassie and Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship in 2019 and last year’s Maryland Million Distaff and Safely Kept.

Though she will be making her earliest season debut, not having started previously before May, Hello Beautiful enters the What a Summer not having run since the Nov. 28 Safely Kept, a seven-furlong sprint where she drew off to win by three lengths.

“She’s doing really well. We spaced her races out a little bit more this time,” trainer Brittany Russell said. “It’s exciting. We’re looking forward to it. If she keeps doing the way she’s done over the course of the last few months, I feel very good about everything.

“With horses, you just go day to day,” she added. “She’s in that first stall, and it’s just fun to walk in the barn and see her face every day.”

Hello Beautiful won three of her last four races at 2, the only defeat in that stretch coming by a neck on the grass to subsequent two-time turf stakes winner American Giant, and lost Maryland-bred champion honors to 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Sharing.

A planned break combined with a pause in live racing amid the coronavirus pandemic to push Hello Beautiful’s 2020 debut to June, a failed turf try off a six-month layoff. She went back into stakes company after a runaway allowance win just 19 days later, but class and circumstance were too much to overcome in off-the-board finishes in the Audubon Oaks and Prioress (G2).

Hello Beautiful resoundingly returned to form to win the Distaff by 11 ¼ lengths, her first time reunited with regular rider Sheldon Russell in four months since breaking his wrist last July. They teamed up again in the Safely Kept and will break together from Post 3 in a field of nine.

Brittany Russell said the connections are hoping to use the What a Summer as a springboard to the $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3) Feb. 13 at Laurel, a seven-furlong sprint for older females entering its 69th year. Hello Beautiful is a perfect 6-0 over Laurel’s main track.

“The goal, obviously, is the Fritchie, so we were trying to figure out the best way to get there and it was kind of just going to be about what she was telling us in the morning,” Russell said. “She’s begging to run right now. So, that’s why we’re going for this and, hopefully, it serves as a good setup for the Fritchie.”

Malibu Mischief, based in New York with owner-trainer Rudy Rodriguez, lost for the first time in seven races when third by less than three lengths to Dontletsweetfoolya in the six-furlong Willa On the Move Dec. 26, her second career stakes attempt. Four of the wins during her streak, the last two at Laurel, came after being claimed for $12,500 last summer.

Trainer Jonathan Thomas will ship in the pair of Escapade and Bridlewood Cat for the What a Summer. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Escapade, who has raced primarily on grass and synthetic surfaces, was beaten a head when second to Jean Elizabeth, a winner of 10 stakes including two Grade 3s, in an off-the-turf edition of 2019 Abundantia at Gulfstream Park

Bridlewood Farm’s Bridlewood Cat, by Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Street Sense, returned off a layoff to be fifth in the Garland of Roses Dec. 6 at Aqueduct. She was fourth, beaten only a half-length, in the 2020 Correction last March.

Mike Trombetta-trained stablemates Bella Aurora and New York Groove look to return to their stakes-winning form following a winless 2020. Country Life Farm’s Bella Aurora won the 2019 Gin Talking on the dirt at Laurel while Commonwealth New Era Racing’s New York Groove took the 2019 Presque Isle Debutante on the synthetic.

Stakes-placed Club Car, fourth last out in the Willa On the Move; Cause I’m Edgy and Tarawa round out the field.

The post Hello Beautiful Kicks Off 2021 Campaign In Laurel Park’s What A Summer appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.