Needs Supervision Could Play Upset Card In Barbara Fritchie

Encouraged by her most recent effort, trainer Jerry O’Dwyer is giving Howling Pigeon Farms, Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Madaket Stables’ multiple stakes winner Needs Supervision another shot at graded success in Saturday’s $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3) at Laurel Park.

The 69th running of the Fritchie for fillies and mares 4 and older and the 45th edition of the $250,000 General George (G3) for 4-year-olds and up co-headline a Winter Sprintfest program of six stakes worth $900,000 in purses. First race post time is 12:25 p.m.

In addition to Needs Supervision, a 12-1 long shot on the morning line, Madaket’s Sol Kumin also has an ownership stake in the Fritchie’s 8-5 program favorite, five-time stakes winner Hello Beautiful. The two horses will break side-by-side respectively from Posts 7 and 8.

Needs Supervision, 5, ran fourth behind Majestic Reason in last year’s Fritchie then was third in the Nellie Morse, held in mid-March prior to live racing being paused 2 ½ months in Maryland amid the coronavirus pandemic. Minor issues kept her from racing again for eight months.

“She’s never had any major issues, just little niggly things,” O’Dwyer said. “She had a back issue that was bugging her and it was kind of causing her to break slow and she wasn’t as comfortable as she could be. We seem to have a handle on that now.

“I think she’s moving super now,” he added. “It’s hard to find when there’s something wrong with her because she’s such a tough filly. She never shows any signs of distress or pain, but it’s when she underperforms you know there’s more there. That’s when you really start going over her with a fine tooth comb to try and find something.”

Needs Supervision ran third to Fritchie contender Dontletsweetfooya, a winner of her last five races including two stakes, in the Nov. 28 Primonetta, then stretched out to 1 1/8 miles for the Allaire du Pont (G3) Dec. 26, where she tired to be fifth after setting the pace. Most recently, she closed to be second by a length behind Bella Aurora in the seven-furlong Interborough Jan. 18 at Aqueduct.

“She came out of her last race great. She ran a super race up there. I liked the way she finished up and came through horses. The winner got the clear path on the inside and she couldn’t get out until the top of the lane,” O’Dwyer said. “We would have liked to get out a little bit sooner, but I was just glad to see her come back and run a race like that and finish up good.”

Needs Supervision won the seven-furlong Safely Kept in November 2019 at Laurel over next-out winners Hey Mamaluke and Victim of Love, the latter going on to win the Vagrancy (G3) and run second in the Fritchie and third in the Ballerina (G1) before going to the sidelines.

“She’s won at seven furlongs, she likes the surface, and she seems to be training good and doing really well,” O’Dwyer said. “It’s going to be a tough race, with lots of good fillies and mares in there. I think there’s going to be lots of speed in there which should help us. We’re not the quickest into stride, but I’d like to see her five or six lengths off them. That’d be nice. You’re going to have Hello Beautiful and Dontletsweetfoolya, both of those are very fast fillies and I’m sure no rider will want to take their horse out of their comfort zone. So, I’m hoping it’ll set up a little bit for us with something to run at.

“It’s going to be a very nice race, very competitive. You just want to see the best horse win and everybody get a fair shake of the dice,” he added. “We still have a lot of faith in our filly, how she is right now. The owners have been great people to me. I’d just like to get her back in a bit of form and to get a graded-stakes win would be huge for her as a broodmare.”

The post Needs Supervision Could Play Upset Card In Barbara Fritchie appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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