Freud’s Bavaro Wins 2nd Big A Stakes in Hollie Hughes; Other Freuds Win in Louisiana, Florida, etc.

Scoring his ninth win and third consecutive tally in 72 days, multiple stakes winner BAVARO ($312,605) won Aqueduct’s Hollie Hughes Stakes on Presidents’ Day, February 18, becoming the tenth FREUD stakes winner on Aqueduct’s outer dirt – along with Grade 1 victors SHARP AZTECA, FRANNY FREUD, and GIANT RYAN. It was the striking gray/roan’s first outing for new owner All In The Family Racing and under the care of new trainer Linda Rice. He was favored among six starters in the $103,600 six-furlong Hollie Hughes, with stakes-winning rivals finishing second, third, and fifth behind him.

Bavaro overcame a bobbled start to advance four-wide from fourth place in pursuit of the early leader, taking command on the turn and drawing clear to finish under a hand ride. Winning jockey Junior Alvarado, who has been aboard for Bavaro’s last three consecutive starts – all Aqueduct victories – since December 8, revealed that the plan had been to lead from the get-go, but that did not happen: “He kind of missed the break…so I had to go plan B,” explained Alvarado. “I let him settle in, put him on the outside; then after that, from the half-mile pole, he pretty much took me all the way around.”

Trainer Rice, who acknowledged that she had been “pretty excited” about running Bavaro in the Hollie Hughes, reported that the 5-year-old “had been training really well coming into the race.

“I was a bit concerned (that) there was a lot of speed,” Rice added. “He didn’t break that sharp today, but Junior (Alvarado) rode him beautifully. This was the first stakes win for All In The Family Racing.”

A juvenile stakes winner on Aqueduct’s (late) inner dirt, Bavaro is among six racing-age offspring out of his unraced dam – the only one sired by Freud and only stakes winner. Bavaro’s 2-year-old half-sister, sired by a $3,500-fee freshman stallion, sold for $135,000 at Keeneland’s 2018 September yearling sale.

Nine days earlier (February 9) at Delta Downs in Louisiana, Freud’s indestructible black-type stakes-winning son, JUST STORMIN ($282,355), won the $60,000 La. Bred Premier Night Gentlemen Starter Stakes by a daylight margin over nine rivals for his ninth career victory and third consecutive tally. Owned by Craig Drago, Just Stormin led from gate to wire in the 1 1/16-mile dirt event under lights.

Placing third in a three-way photo for first as the co-topweight among seven in Aqueduct’s graded Withers Stakes on February 2 was Freud’s Tremont Stakes winner for open juveniles at Belmont last June, OUR BRAINTRUST ($196,640), who was conceding weight to the two rivals that narrowly beat him. Now owned by Gary Barber and the youngest (only May foal) in the $252,500 Withers for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles, the never-unplaced Our Braintrust has steadily improved his speed ratings at increasingly longer distances since winning his debut (at 4½ furlongs) at Laurel last May. “He’s been a wonderful horse to be around,” remarked Our Braintrust’s new trainer, Mark Casse. “When the dust clears, his best fit may be the grass. We’re still trying to learn more about him,” Casse added.

Winning Gulfstream Park’s January 21 allowance turf mile co-feature as the favorite among 11 was Freud’s 2018 stakes runner-up (at Belmont) daughter, MUNCHKIN MONEY ($257,470), who beat the stakes-placed runner-up – a daughter of North America’s leading 2018 sire and turf sire – by almost two lengths despite conceding her five pounds. Placing third was a six-figure-earning daughter of North America’s 2011 leading sire, and her beaten rivals also included a daughter of North America’s second-leading sire of 2016 and 2017, who stands for$175,000. Munchkin Money races for Newport Stables LLC.

Freud’s February multiple-margin winners (both on dirt) also include FREUDIAN FALL, who beat six rivals going a mile and 70 yards in slop and rain at Mahoning Valley in Ohio on February 12 and PREQUALIFIED, who broke his maiden going 1 1/16 miles at Tampa Bay Downs on February 17. Freudian Fall, owned by I R Racing Stable and a winner on Gulfstream Park dirt and turf, beat the runner-up favorite by nearly three lengths at equal weights. Prequalified, racing for Clair Walker, was at even money despite breaking from the outside post among eight starters and won by 3¼ lengths.

Freud is the only stallion standing anywhere that has sired three finalists for 2018 New York-Bred Divisional Championships, as designated by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB), those being FOURSTAR CROOK ($1,624,566) and LA MONEDA ($372,969) for turf female and THERAPIST ($372,800) for 3-year-old male and turf male. No other stallion, regardless of where he stands, has sired more than two 2018 NYTB championship finalists. Fourstar Crook, the only New York-bred winner of three Grade 1 or Grade 2 events in 2018, raced for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith and was sold for $1.5-million as a not-bred racing/broodmare prospect at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s November sale despite representing her unplaced dam’s only black type. La Moneda is among several Freud homebreds raced by Patricia L. Moseley. Therapist is a homebred for Lynn and Richard Leahy’s Oak Bluff Stables and was co-bred by his trainer, Christophe Clement.

In South America, Freud’s Argentine-breds CHARPENTIER and DONA MILHOJAS both have placed in listed or group black-type events in 2019. Charpentier, a Peruvian multiple listed winner in 2018 racing for Dona Licha Stable and Group 2-placed, placed second in the listed Clasico Perinox at 1,600 meters (about a mile) on dirt at Monterrico in Lima on January 12. An eight-time winner, he also has scored at San Isidro in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dona Milhojas, a homebred 2-year-old filly owned by San Benito Stable and a first-out winner on San Isidro turf in December, placed third in her dirt and group race debut, the Clasico Carlos Casares at Palermo (also a Buenos Aires-area track), on February 9. All three of Dona Milhojas’ starts have been at a straightaway 1,000 meters (about five furlongs), although she appears to be bred to run longer.

Freud’s Argentine-breds PIPI DON and METRONIA provided notable examples of their sire’s versatility when they won back-to-back races at Palermo on Friday, February 15 – the former romping by three lengths at 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) on turf in 1:07.86, and the latter at 1,600 meters on dirt. Both beat runner-up favorites. Pipi Don, a 3-year-old racing for Juanito’s Stable, was within less than a half-second off the Palermo course record for his second 1,200-meter victory, pulling away with ears pinned after trailing all six of his rivals in the early going. Metronia, racing for La Manana Stable, started her career as a sprinter but has developed into a formidable front-runner at middle distances, beating seven rivals for her fourth career victory.

Winning at La Plata, a Buenos Aires-area dirt-track-only facility, were Freud’s Argentine-bred 4-year-old sons ELECTRIC START by three lengths at 1,500 meters (about 15/16ths of a mile, or one-sixteenth short of a mile) on January 19 and PSYCHOLOGIST by seven lengths at 1,100 meters (about 5½ furlongs) on February 3. Electric Start, who beat 11 rivals in his first effort at 1,500 meters while racing for Las 3 Semillas (The 3 Seeds) Stable, also has won at Palermo. Psychologist, owned by Sueno Florense (Florence Sleep) Stable, broke his maiden against nine rivals.

By Rab Hagin