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Afleet Alex's Harissa earns first graded victory


Sunday, February 20, 2011 |

Barbara Fritchie H.
Harissa won her first graded stakes of her career on Feb. 19, taking the $150,000 Barbara Fritchie (G2) at Laurel Park (VIDEO). The 4-year-old daughter of Afleet Alex is the third stakes horse on the year for her sire, who is the second-ranked third crop sire of 2011.

Harissa is two-for-two this year. She won the $75,000 Sleigh Ride S. at Parx on Jan. 4. She was sent off as the 3-2 favorite in the seven furlong Fritchie, and didn't disappoint her backers. Sitting patiently in mid-pack for the run down the backstretch, she went four wide into the stretch to come on even terms with pacesetter Aspenglow about a furlong from the wire. She pulled away in the final sixteenth to win by 2 1/4-lengths in 1:23.65. She earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure, her second triple-digit number of her career.

Harissa has been well-traveled in her 13 career races, starting at ten different tracks. And she keeps proving she can get to the winner's circle no matter where she runs, compiling a 5-3-2 record and earning $425,566.

“She’s a very quality filly,” said assistant trainer Graham Wolfram. “She’s run at a lot of different racetracks in her career, but she always performs at that high level. Mike (Hushion, Harissa's trainer) was really happy with the way she trained up to the race.”

Dr. John Waken's Gem Inc. has owned Harissa throughout her career. He started her out in southern California, but moved her to Hushion's barn, based at Belmont Park, in the middle of last year.

Bred in Kentucky by Jeanne Bruce, Harissa is out of the Time for a Change mare Dynasty. She cost $95,000 as a Keeneland September sale yearling in 2008.