Freud’s Top-Weighted Therapist Sets 2nd Stakes Record of 2018 in Belmont’s NYSS Spectacular Bid

By Rab Hagin

Breaking from the outside post as the youngest among ten starters, odds-on THERAPIST ($308,725) won Belmont’s $100,000 New York Stallion Spectacular Bid Stakes by two lengths under top weight in 1:21.07 for seven furlongs on turf on Sunday, June 24, giving the FREUD colt his second stakes record of 2018. Therapist had to race five-wide down the backstretch to secure a reasonable position on the turn, where he threaded between rivals before overtaking the front-runner, setting a six-furlong fraction of 1:08.79 and drawing clear. His winning time broke the Spectacular Bid stakes record – held since 2013 by a multiple stakes winner of $657,285 carrying four pounds less than Therapist – by nearly three-fifths of a second. A homebred for Lynn and Richard’s Leahy’s Oak Bluff Stables and co-bred by winning trainer Christophe Clement, Therapist was the only May-foaled 3-year-old among the event’s ten sophomores.

Clement, who also had trained Therapist’s dam – a two-time winner who was not a stakes producer prior to being bred to Freud – observed that Therapist has “a great turn of foot.” Clement also acknowledged that the colt had been “a touch flat” in his previous start 22 days earlier while coming off a nine-week layoff (“a little more anxious than what we like, but he’s a pretty busy horse mentally”). Clement pointed out that Therapist belonged to a small group of standouts produced from Oak Bluff Stable’s “amazing breeding program,” adding, “I’m just lucky to train for (them).” Therapist was conceived when Freud’s multiple graded-winning LUBASH ($1,515,139) was being trained by Clement.

Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who had piloted Therapist to a stakes record mile in 1:33.42 in Gulfstream Park’s $127,500 Cutler Bay Stakes on March 31, had “a lot of confidence” in Therapist: “The way he was feeling today, I thought he was going to run the way he ran.”

Therapist is the third son of Freud to win the Spectacular Bid, following DARRIN’S DILEMMA for Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables LLC in 2011 and CLOUD CONTROL for owner-breeders Chester and Mary Broman in 2016. The Spectacular Bid marked Therapist’s fifth victory in seven starts and fourth stakes tally. He is Freud’s 12th Northern Hemisphere 2018 repeat winner, which leads all New York-based sires.

Therapist was Freud’s sixth Northern Hemisphere winner within a nine-day span (June 16-24), beginning with Daniel J. Feiss’ stakes-winning DR. SHANE ($412,271), who came within about a fifth of a second of Belmont’s seven-furlong course record while scoring his first turf victory in 1:19.44 on June 16. Favored among eight in a $70,000 Belmont allowance optional, Dr. Shane led gate-to-wire, setting a 20.97 intermediate quarter-mile split (for a half-mile fraction of 43.57) and winning by 4¾ lengths. Winning 5½-furlong allowances at Finger Lakes by daylight margins on June 23 were Freud’s new six-figure-earning son, FREUD’S AFFAIR, and four-time winning daughter, AQUARIUS. Freud’s Affair, campaigned by owner-breeder Lisa Ann Reed under the care of trainer and co-breeder Christopher John Progno, beat odds-on runner-up and co-topweight BAVARO ($180,440), a stakes-winning son of Freud owned and trained by Jeremiah C. Englehart. Aquarius, another Freud homebred for Patricia L. Moseley, scored by almost two lengths. Tallying by almost two lengths at seven furlongs on Evangeline Downs dirt on June 20 was Freud’s stakes-placed Louisiana-bred son, JUST STORMIN ($189,445), who races for Charles Carlton. Easily winning a Finger Lakes 5½-furlong maiden special for open fillies and mares by eight lengths in her debut on June 18 was May-foaled 3-year-old Freud filly RISKY ANALYSIS, a homebred for Chester and Mary R. Broman and the only first-time starter – as well as the youngest – among seven.

In South America, four Freud fillies scored in Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay during June 18-24, highlighted on June 24 by 3-year-olds LA BOMBON going 1,900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles) on Monterrico turf in Peru and CHIA F going 1,000 meters (about five furlongs) on Maronas dirt in Uruguay. La Bombon, an Argentine-bred racing for Agustin Gabriel Stable, tallied by almost two lengths against 13 rivals in 1:56.11 and now has two wins on turf and one on dirt in six starts in 2018. Chia F, a Uruguayan-bred racing for Rincon del Rey Stable, romped by six lengths against six rivals in her one-turn outing, clocking 57.34 on the tight-turn track to come within less than a second of the track record in her fourth victory. Breaking their maidens on dirt at Buenos Aires-area tracks in Argentina were Argentine-bred Freud fillies GOING FREE at 1,400 meters (about seven furlongs) in her second start on June 18 at Palermo and ARTISTAS FASHION at 1,100 meters (about 5½ furlongs) at San Isidro on June 20. Going Free, a homebred for La Pesadilla Stable, broke from the outside post among 13 and won by two lengths in 1:22.96, improving significantly from her second-placed debut among 13 in February. Artistas Fashion, a 3-year-old filly owned by Mamina Stable, won by a length and a half against 11 rivals with a big stretch run in the final quarter-mile.

Placing in black type events on June 16 and June 24 were Freud’s stakes-winning Argentine-bred sons MUST GO ON ($329,154 in U.S. equivalent earnings) at Palermo and CHARPENTIER at Monterrico respectively and 3-year-old New York-bred daughter MENTALITY ($111,834) at Belmont on June 24. Must Go On, a Group 1 winner on turf owned by Tata Y Tigre Stable, placed second among ten in Palermo’s Group 2 Clasico General Belgrano at 2,500 meters (about 1 9/16 miles) on dirt in his second start (and second group-placing) off a one-year layoff. Charpentier, a 4-year-old multiple listed winner at Monterrico for Dona Licha Stable coming off a 12¼-length listed tally three weeks earlier (on June 3), placed third in the Group 2 Clasico OSAF at 1,600 meters (about a mile) on dirt after having led most of the way. Mentality, owned by Lindy Farms, gained her first black type by placing third among 11 in Belmont’s $100,000 New York Stallion Cupecoy’s Joy Stakes after having finished less than a length behind the winner of Aqueduct’s $100,000 Mizdirection Stakes for open 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs on turf in April. Mentality 29 days earlier had beaten the Cupecoy’s Joy winner by 2¼ lengths in a seven-furlong Belmont turf allowance (in 1:20.82) at equal weights, but she was spotting four pounds to that same rival in the Cupecoy’s Joy and placed a length behind her.