By Rab Hagin
At Belmont on Friday, June 8, older mare FOURSTAR CROOK ($1,213,166) won the $600,000 Grade 2 New York Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets at a mile and a quarter on turf, and May-foaled 2-year-old colt OUR BRAINTRUST remained unbeaten by winning the listed Tremont Stakes at 5½ furlongs on dirt. Both are offspring of perennially-leading New York sire FREUD, demonstrating a siring versatility on one race card that appears unparalleled in New York Racing Association competition. Fourstar Crook, a multiple Grade 2 winner making a serious claim as North America’s top turf female, races for Michael Dubb, Mike Caruso’s Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith. Our Braintrust, now two-for-two and the youngest starter (only May-foaled juvenile) in the historic (126th) Tremont, races for Cathal Lynch (trainer) and Stanton J. Smith Jr. Freud, with 2018 North American progeny earnings of almost $2.5-million through June 10 (over $52-million cumulative), was the only sire of two winners on Belmont’s June 8 card.
Speed. Stamina. Dirt. Turf. Precocity. Longevity. Colt. Mare. Ability to break. Ability to rate. Ability to hold off challengers. Ability to close. All that and more highlighted in two events on one race card.
Freud was the only sire of three winners of the 43 races – 19 stakes – during the four-day (June 7-10) Belmont Stakes Racing Festival and one of only two sires of two stakes winners (the other on June 9) in the Festival. Interestingly, Freud’s winners scored on all three (dirt, inner turf, outer turf) Belmont strips.
Fourstar Crook broke from the eighth post among nine in the 10-furlong New York on Belmont’s inner turf course and closed from sixth to score in 1:59.21 – fastest running of that event in a quarter-century. Last September, she set a 1 1/8-mile stakes record of 1:46.05 on the inner course while winning the John Hettinger Stakes. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who in March had guided Fourstar Crook to victory over nine in Tampa Bay Downs’ Grade 2 Hillsborough Stakes at 1 1/8 miles, commented that her first tally at 1¼ miles – against Grade 1 turf winners – was well within her range: “She was comfortable,” remarked Ortiz, “so I didn’t try to do anything crazy. I just rode my filly, and she was there.”
Our Braintrust ($116,640), who in his second start became Freud’s 60th stakes winner, broke obviously first among seven in the $150,000 Tremont (the race chart does not indicate his break accurately), then settled into fourth place approaching the turn and advanced to third after about a quarter-mile. Nothing seems to faze him. When the pace-contesting favorite took the lead turning for home, Our Braintrust appeared to have nowhere to go but outside, but jockey Javier Castellano guided him to a narrow opening along the rail, where the Freud colt took command and edged away from his tiring rivals.
Castellano was impressed: “He was very professional. He’s a very brave horse. You don’t see too many young horses do that the way he did that. The way he finished, he’s a nice horse.”
Charlie Lynch, son and assistant to winning trainer and co-owner Cathal Lynch, said that Our Braintrust, “can…do everything right,” and also implied that the Maryland-bred had been nominated to the New York Stallion Stakes Series. “I talked to dad, and he’s so happy right now, he’s crying,” added Lynch.
Freud’s DAGNABIT ($243,938) won the 2008 Tremont for breeders Lansdon Robbins and Tom Hansen.
Fourstar Crook is the sixth of eight named offspring produced from her unplaced dam, the first by Freud, and her dam’s only stakes winner. Our Braintrust is the fifth reported offspring produced from his Mountaineer- and Charles Town-winning dam, the first by Freud, and his dam’s only stakes winner.
Freud’s three winners the next day (Saturday, June 9) started with daughter LA MONEDA ($129,344) in a $70,000 Belmont allowance optional turf mile as the first of three homebred Freud winners for Patricia L. Moseley that day. La Moneda exploded from fourth place in mid-stretch when she trailed the leader by almost three lengths, running her final quarter-mile in about 22-flat to score by nearly two lengths in 1:34.17 as the favorite among nine on the third day of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. It was her third win in six starts and second effort off a 24-week layoff. Later that Saturday, Moseley homebreds DREAM DOCTOR ($146,035) and PRINCESS DREAM ($117,039) scored back-to-back victories on turf and dirt respectively at Suffolk Downs – the former in a $58,000 allowance optional at about 7½ furlongs on grass; the latter in the $54,000 Isadorable Stakes at six furlongs on the main track. Dream Doctor, who was making his 2018 debut, clocked about three-tenths of a second off Suffolk Downs’ 30-year-old course record held by a multiple stakes winner (carrying five pounds less than Dream Doctor), beating six while running down a son of North America’s current leading sire. Princess Dream, who also won the Isadorable Stakes in 2017, scored by 2¾ lengths at near even-money among six to go two-for-two in 2018 following her odds-on victory over eight in Finger Lakes’ Miss Patriot Handicap 39 days earlier.
Other Freud runners winning allowances in early June included David E. Ahearn’s homebred filly, DAVID’S ELAINE, who romped by 3½ lengths as the topweight – and youngest – among nine going six furlongs at Finger Lakes on June 7, with another Freud daughter, CATS HALO ($127,461), closing for second over the favorite. David’s Elaine has won five of eight starts and is two-for-two in 2018 following her Finger Lakes feature allowance victory at five furlongs 23 days earlier against an odds-on runner-up. At Camarero Race Track in Puerto Rico, Freud’s 3-year-old son SYKOLOGIST broke his maiden by 2¾ lengths against all winners – one of them twice runner-up in graded stakes at Camarero – in a six-furlong allowance on June 3 in his 2018 debut. Owned by E.V. Stable and making his first start off a 260-day layoff, Sykologist has won or placed in four of five starts and finished fourth among eight – only a neck short of placing third – in a six-furlong graded stakes for juveniles at Camarero last September. Another 3-year-old son of Freud recently breaking his maiden was Joseph E. Besecker’s VOLPINATOR, who won his third start by a length and a half against seven rivals going a two-turn mile on Presque Isle Downs’ all weather Tapeta track on June 7.
Two more Freuds recently broke their maidens in Argentina at 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) on dirt in Buenos Aires: Argentine-breds SWEETY LUZ, a filly racing at Palermo on June 4 for Val-Fran Stable, and FERMIN, a 3-year-old colt racing at San Isidro on June 6 for Pura Pasion Stable. Sweety Luz won by five lengths against 12 rivals on a wet track; Fermin came from off the pace to score by a length drawing away from 11 rivals.
Freud, younger full brother to the late champion GIANT’S CAUSEWAY (leading North American sire in 2009, 2010, and 2012 and leading North American broodmare sire in 2018), is the leading New York-based sire in 2018 progeny earnings, 2018 juvenile progeny earnings, 2018 black type stakes winners, and 2018 repeat winners. He is the only 2018 North American top-40 sire standing for less than $12,500.