By Rab Hagin
Oak Bluff Stables’ homebred THERAPIST ($243,725) scored his fourth victory in five starts and third stakes tally at three different tracks in Gulfstream Park’s one-mile Cutler Bay Stakes for open 3-year-olds on turf on Saturday, March 31, as the FREUD colt shattered the stakes record with a 1:33.42 clocking. The only May-foaled sophomore (foaled 5-22-15) in the $127,500 event, Therapist was the youngest among six starters, including two 2018 stakes winners on Gulfstream Park turf, and he trailed all but one of his rivals until mid-stretch. Therapist’s final individual furlong split in under 11 2/5 seconds propelled him past the favored runner-up – a graded-winning miler on Gulfstream Park turf eight weeks earlier.
It was the third consecutive ride and second win aboard Therapist for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who had wanted to be closer to the pace, but a bumpy start and the race’s tempo would not allow it: “He broke a little slow, but…he always breaks like that,” explained Ortiz. “I told the trainer (Christophe Clement, who also is Therapist’s co-breeder) the ground is…holding speed, so we have to be close. He (Therapist) wasn’t (four lengths behind the favored runner-up at the quarter pole), but we got there anyway.”
Therapist broke the previous Cutler Bay Stakes record – held by a son of Freud’s champion full brother, GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, carrying five pounds less than Therapist – by 1.32 seconds. Earlier Cutler Bay winners also include a Grade 1 turf-winning millionaire. Therapist is Freud’s first stakes winner on Gulfstream Park turf, although another Freud colt, Grade 1 winner SHARP AZTECA ($2,406,740), is a Grade 2 winner on Gulfstream’s main track. Therapist is the second of Freud’s stakes winners in Florida in three weeks, following Grade 2 Tampa Bay Downs turf winner FOURSTAR CROOK ($813,166).
Therapist, a multiple stakes winner in 2017 against open 2-year-olds, is the fourth named offspring (first sired by Freud) and first juvenile winner or stakes winner produced from his two-time winning dam, Lady Renaissance, and represents the first black type within two generations of his female family. He has a yearling full sister also bred by Lynn and Richard Leahy’s Oak Bluff Stable. Therapist’s trainer and co-breeder, Clement, also had trained Lady Renaissance. At the time of Therapist’s conception, Clement had sent out Freud’s multiple graded-winning turf son, LUBASH ($1,515,139), to three stakes victories, including Belmont’s graded 1 1/16-mile Fort Marcy in a stakes record 1:38.89, which Daily Racing Form statistics indicated was North America’s fastest 1 1/16 miles in three years. Following Therapist’s record-breaking Cutler Bay tally, Clement remarked: “This was just a stepping stone for better things to come.”
Freud also was represented during late March by favored Northern Hemisphere winners on dirt, turf, and all-weather, as JOEY B scored at Will Rogers Downs on March 20 and DOT MATRIX ($209,411) and BRACKEN BELLE won on Fair Grounds grass and on Turfway Park’s Polytrack respectively on March 24. Joey B, a Kentucky-bred owned and trained by Karl Broberg, registered his third victory in a 68-day span and fourth career tally with an odds-on score against five going a two-turn mile on dirt. Dot Matrix, a New York-bred racing for Ten Strike Racing, beat seven rivals – five of them six-figure-earners, including a turf stakes winner and two multiple stakes-placed winners – in an allowance optional turf test at about 1 1/16 miles for his fifth victory. Bracken Belle, a Freud filly owned by Greenhill Racing Stables, Inc. and trained by Jeffrey Greenhill, romped by 10½ lengths at a two-turn mile and is two-for-two in 2018.
Freud is the only Northeastern stallion with two stakes winners out in 2018. His cumulative Northern Hemisphere progeny earnings of $50.8-million-plus is the highest in the history of New York breeding.
In South America, Freud during the second half of March was represented by winning sons on dirt and turf at three different distances in Chile, Argentina, and Peru. On March 16, his Argentine-bred DORYO beat ten rivals from the near outside post going 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) around a right-hand turn on dirt at Club Hipico de Santiago in Chile, beating the runner-up favorite while racing for Don Simon Stable. Doryo has won six races – three on dirt, three on turf. On March 24, Freud’s Argentine-bred DON RAPAZ, a 3-year-old homebred racing for San Benito Stable, broke his maiden going 2,000 meters (about 1¼ miles) on turf at San Isidro near Buenos Aires, winning handily against nine rivals in his second effort under those surface and distance conditions. On March 31, Freud’s indestructible New York-bred PARSIFAL scored his 17th victory (only one win behind Lubash) at Monterrico in Peru for Marcial Stable, leading ten rivals throughout at a straightaway 1,000 meters (about five furlongs) on dirt and refusing to allow any challenger to go by him. Parsifal also has won at 1,300 meters (about 6½ furlongs) on turf.