10 years ago
• Neither snow nor fog could keep mighty dynamo Xtra Heat from the record books. The 5-year-old notched her 25th career stakes win, surpassing Susan’s Girl for the most of any race mare in history, in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap-G2 at Laurel Park.
The Fritchie and General George Handicap were postponed a week when a snowstorm dumped 3 feet in Maryland over President’s Day Weekend. Midway through the next week’s card, heavy fog rolled in, and by the time the seven Fritchie runners took to the sloppy track, visibility was practically nil.
Xtra Heat and Carson Hollow broke quickly, vied for the lead (from what the fans could see) and sped through early fractions of :22.97 and :45.57. With Rick Wilson up, Xtra Heat emerged from the gloom with a clear lead entering the stretch and crossed the wire 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Carson Hollow, a Grade 1 winner in receipt of six pounds from the champion.
Campaigned by Classic Star Stable, which had purchased her privately (for $1.5 million) the previous fall from Maryland-based owners Ken Taylor, Harry Deitchman and trainer John Salzman, Xtra Heat won for the 26th time in 35 starts (she was off the board only twice in her career) for earnings of $2,389,635.
The Fritchie would be Xtra Heat’s final start. The diminutive daughter of Dixieland Heat, one of racing’s greatest bargains?–?she was purchased by Salzman at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-olds in training sale for $5,000–was bred that spring to Gone West. The resulting foal, Southwestern Heat, won Laurel’s Sonny Hine Stakes in 2007. Of her seven foals of racing age, all have started and include additional stakes winner Elusive Heat and stakes-placed X Rated Cat.
• Hard-knocking 8-year-old P Day got a nose victory in the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap, his second stakes win of the year for trainer Charles J. “Junior” Hadry, son of the tough gelding’s breeder and former owner and trainer, Charlie Hadry, who died of cancer three weeks earlier. Owned by Adam Russo and ridden by Ryan Fogelsonger, the Maryland-bred recorded his 15th victory, the fifth in a stakes.
• Virginia-bred speedster Arromanches was set to launch his stud career, at age 10, at Beau Ridge Farm in Bunker Hill, W.Va.
Campaigned for eight years, the gray son of Relaunch made 78 starts, won 31 races and finished second or third in 24 others. In 2001 and 2002, he proved a model of consistency–winning 10 consecutive races, and 12 of 14. Racing primarily in New York, Arromanches placed once in stakes company (third in the Paumonok Handicap at Aqueduct), and earned $807,924. His introductory stud fee was $500.
Bred by Burning Daylight Farms Inc. out of the Sauce Boat mare Perfect Roux, Arromanches covered 17 mares his first season, but had only five registered foals in his initial crop, and one winner. He moved to Indiana in 2004 and in his second crop got millionaire Caixa Eletronica, whose five stakes wins, four graded, include the 2012, $1 million Charles Town Classic Stakes-G2.