By Rab Hagin
FOURSTAR CROOK ($544,050) and KEY DANCE romped in graded/group events on turf and dirt on July 4 at Parx Racing and on July 1 at Palermo in Argentina, respectively, as the two daughters of FREUD enhanced strings of accomplishments which are virtually unparalleled for their current racing seasons. Fourstar Crook, who races for Michael Dubb, Michael J. Caruso’s Bethlehem Stables LLC, and Gary Aisquith, extended her win streak to eight straight (surpassing champion Arrogate’s seven consecutive tallies) while capturing her graded stakes debut in Parx’s Dr. James Penny Memorial. Key Dance, an Argentine homebred racing for Santa Ines Stable and arguably the best female miler in South America on dirt or turf, scored her fifth group victory in Palermo’s Clasico Ines Victorica Roca at 1,600 meters (metric equivalent of a mile) on dirt. Both daughters won by multiple-length margins while pulling away.
Freud now has 2017 North American graded winners on dirt and turf in SHARP AZTECA ($896,740) and Fourstar Crook respectively and more 2017 graded/group winners world-wide than even his champion full brother, GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, has – to go along with better than 70 percent winners from starters in North America. Freud also is New York’s leading juvenile sire of 2017 in earnings and number of winners.
The 1 1/16-mile Penny Memorial was the fourth consecutive stakes captured by Fourstar Crook, at distances ranging from a mile to 1 1/8 miles on firm and yielding turf. Confidently ridden (for the first time) in the $200,000 event by jockey Joe Bravo, she broke from the outside post among eight starters and lingered in seventh place with only five-sixteenths of a mile to run. Fourstar Crook swung extremely wide to advance through the stretch and still trailed a pair of two-turn graded turf winners entering the final furlong, but she easily inhaled that duo (despite a final sixteenth run in 5.80) to win by 2¼ lengths.
Three days earlier at Palermo in Argentina, Key Dance came off a Group 1 runner-up effort on turf as the only female facing nine males just two weeks earlier to again dominate fillies and mares, winning under wraps by three lengths in 1:34.97. Key Dance’s two most recent efforts prior to her latest tally had both been in Group 1 events as the only female against males, and both times she had placed, but in her second outing against males she had beaten the winner of her first venture into that competition. Among Key Dance’s 11 victories to date, seven have been on dirt and four on turf.
In North America, Fourstar Crook was among 17 winners sired by Freud within the 24 days of June 11 through July 4. These included allowance winners HEY BRACIOLE ($166,530) at Parx Racing on June 19, WHATSTOTALKABOUT ($108,748) at Belmont on June 22, and PRINCESS DREAM and BAMBOO STICK ($161,443) at Finger Lakes on June 17 and 27 respectively. Hey Braciole, a Pennsylvania homebred filly racing for Joseph Capriglione, scored her second allowance victory of 2017 as the favorite among eight, including four six-figure-earners, going 5½ furlongs in a $61,098 co-feature. Whatstotalkabout, a homebred colt racing for Ron Lombardi’s Mr. Amore Stable, beat eight rivals in a $64,000 allowance at six furlongs on turf, clocking 1:08.37 for his second consecutive Belmont win in 50 days. Princess Dream, Patricia L. Moseley’s Massachusetts homebred filly, beat seven rivals in a six-furlong open allowance. Bamboo Stick, who races for Kelli Norton and Frank Fiumera, beat five rivals with average earnings of more than $166K – two of them stakes-placed – in her six-furlong victory, getting her third win of 2017.
Freud’s recent winners at Belmont also include his latest six-figure-earner, the filly CATS HALO, who ran down the odds-on stakes-placed (and six-figure-earning) runner-up in a 6½-furlong main track contest on June 25 despite conceding that mare two pounds in weight. Owned by Jim and Margaret Caterbone, Cats Halo had to angle out seven-wide against her seven rivals to set up her advance from sixth place in the upper stretch. Winning at Chippewa Downs in North Dakota on June 11 was Freud’s Oklahoma-bred 4-year-old son, ID, who races for owner-trainer David Gourneau. Scoring by 6¾ lengths at five furlongs from the seventh post among eight at Finger Lakes on June 14 was odds-on SPARTAN EMPEROR, a son of Freud racing for Stephen A. Zorn’s Castle Village Farm. Beating 11 rivals as the favorite going a two-turn 7½ furlongs on Gulfstream Park turf on July 1 was Freud’s son GEAR JAMMER, who races for Blue Devil Racing Stable (Holliday). Winning her first effort on an all-weather surface (Tapeta) at Presque Isle Downs on July 2 was My Purple Haze Stables’ (Wanda Polisseni) homebred Freud filly, FREUDSALM, who beat the near even-money runner-up at 5½ furlongs one month after having scored at Finger Lakes.
Seven offspring of Freud broke their maidens during the 20-day span of June 14 through July 4, including debuting 2-year-olds MENTALITY on June 16 and THERAPIST on July 2 – both going six furlongs on Belmont’s inner turf. Mentality, owned by Lindy Farms and a full sister to Freud’s unbeaten multiple stakes-winning daughter, LOVELY SYN ($202,200) – who did not race as a 2-year-old – beat eight (from the eighth post) in a $75,000 maiden special for open juvenile fillies, leading at all calls and clocking 1:09.27. Therapist, a flashy-looking homebred colt owned by Oak Bluff Stables and the youngest (foaled May 22, 2015) among ten starters in a $62,000 maiden special, came “from out of the clouds” according to Belmont’s announcer and won “going away” by almost two lengths. Also breaking her maiden at six furlongs on Belmont’s inner turf was Teresa M. Maher’s homebred Freud filly, TIFFANYS FREUD, who clocked 1:09.14 in a gate-to-wire score against ten rivals on July 4. Another debut-winning Freud filly, David E. Ahearn’s late-foaled (May 14, 2014) 3-year-old homebred, DAVID’S ELAINE, romped by 4¼ lengths from the outside post among seven in a six-furlong Finger Lakes open maiden special on June 14. Yet another debut-winning Freud 3-year-old, Al P. Pitchko’s Alberta-bred ALBERTA OIL, scored by 2½ lengths under top weight against seven rivals in a six-furlong open maiden special at Northlands Park on June 30. Breaking her maiden in her first turf sprint was Catch Me If You Can Stables’ FREUDLAND, a Florida-bred Freud filly who beat six rivals going five furlongs on Penn National grass on June 28 – and was facing males as the only filly in that contest. Breaking her maiden by 7¼ lengths at odds-on (1-to-10) while racing a mile through rain and slop at Finger Lakes on July 1 was Manhattan Racing Stable’s semi-homebred 3-year-old Freud filly, PRIMA ESTRELLA, who was “never asked” according to the race chart.
In South America, where Freud’s offspring have earned the U.S. equivalent of more than $1.1-million during the current racing season and more than $3-million cumulatively, Freud’s recent Argentine-bred winners in addition to Key Dance include the Freud filly TARDE O TEMPRANO at Palermo on June 25. Campaigned under the purple and yellow silks of Mingo Y La Maruca Stable, Tarde O Temprano (“Sooner or Later” in English) scored her third 1,000-meter (about five furlongs) dirt victory in six starts and her second consecutive tally in four weeks, beating 13 rivals and breaking 55 seconds (54.76). Five days later (June 30) at San Isidro in Argentina, Freud’s Argentine-bred MUCHA CHANCE (“A Lot of Chance” in English) tried turf and 1,600 meters for the first time and broke his maiden by a length for DAP Stable. Mucha Chance had placed in his four previous outings at 1,400 meters (about seven furlongs) on dirt.
The second North American Grade 2 winner in about 13 months produced from a Freud mare emerged on June 17 when a 3-year-old daughter of Freud’s stakes-winning MIGHTY EROS captured Santa Anita’s $201,035 Summertime Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. That filly is the third multiple winner from three offspring of racing age produced out of Mighty Eros, who broke the New York Stallion Stakes Park Avenue stakes record by 1.35 seconds while winning that event by 6½ lengths for Hedgewick Stable in 2007.