By Rab Hagin
Unbeaten THERAPIST ($157,200) got his third victory in his third start under his third jockey in Belmont’s $100,000 Awad Stakes for open 2-year-olds going a virtual one-turn turf mile on Saturday, October 28, which the multiple stakes-winning FREUD colt captured decisively as the youngest among ten starters. A homebred for Richard Leahy’s Oak Bluff Stables, Therapy ran without blinkers, shadow roll, wraps, or medication and appeared to have been the only starter in the Awad – loaded with offspring of North America’s most pricey stallions – without any of those accoutrements. He stalked in fourth place for six furlongs after breaking from the number two post and finally took off in the final 70 yards to score by a length drawing away. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. had wanted to place his mount on the outside for a clear stretch run, but was blocked in until the final furlong, when a slight opening appeared, and Therapist “responded really well” according to Ortiz. “He is a nice horse,” Ortiz added.
Winning trainer and co-breeder Christophe Clement, who apparently was instrumental in deciding to breed Therapist’s dam, Lady Renaissance, to Freud in June of 2014 (Therapist was foaled May 22, 2015), indicated the Awad: “was a great race to stretch him out… He got up very strong… He’s been great.”
Clement had saddled Lady Renaissance for her second victory and only North American tally, a 2006 non-winners-of-two allowance win on Calder turf in her U.S. debut. The mare in November of 2009 was purchased for $15,000 at Keeneland by Oak Bluff Stables (whose owner, Leahy, is co-founder of a financial technology investment firm based in Connecticut) while in foal to a $15,000-fee Kentucky-based stallion. Bred to a series of Kentucky-based stallions standing for fees ranging from $15,000 (now $250,000) to $35,000, Lady Renaissance produced three named offspring – but only one winner and no stakes starters – prior to visiting Freud, whose graded-winning son LUBASH ($1,515,139) Clement was then training for Aliyu Ben J Stables. Lady Renaissance also has a 2017 weanling filly sired by Freud.
Therapist is the first of two 2017 September-October juvenile stakes winners sired by Freud, followed by Robert D. Rosenthal’s and Bradford H. Bernstein’s homebred filly, BERNING ROSE ($223,800).
Winning by 3¾ lengths at a mile on Belmont’s main track three days prior to the Awad (October 25) was Freud’s stakes-winning CLOUD CONTROL ($146,271), who beat a field of six-figure-earners, including a graded winner, to score his first dirt victory for his owner-breeders, Chester Sr. and Mary Broman. About ten minutes after the Awad and less than 30 miles away, Freud filly FREUDEE beat eight rivals in a five-furlong Meadowlands sprint for her first win on turf, racing for Albert Perrone and Laura Reynolds.
Also winning on October 25 was Freud’s Argentine-bred daughter NEGRITA FREUD, a four-length winner against eight rivals going 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) for her second 2017 score on dirt at San Isidro in Buenos Aires and her first tally of the current season that began in July. Negrita Freud races for “4 de Agosto” (August 4) Stable and has shown an ability to unleash a devastating stretch drive. Four days later (Sunday, October 29) at Monterrico in Peru, Freud’s Argentine-bred FIORAVANTTI scored his second victory there in 16 days and three career starts, drawing off by three lengths against ten rivals going 1,300 meters (about 6½ furlongs) on dirt. Fioravantti races for Dona Licha Stable.