Recent winners by FREUD include arguably the best miler in North America, SHARP AZTECA ($576,740), and possibly the best female miler on dirt or turf in South America, KEY DANCE, who scored her third group victory on Saturday, February 25 in a Group 2 turf event in Argentina. The two 4-year-olds, foaled 136 days and about 5,000 miles apart on different hemispheric breeding schedules, share a pedigree quirk suggesting that Texan Cloyce C. Clark Jr. knew something when he sent Sharp Azteca’s dam to New York to breed her to Freud. Multiple Grade 2 winner Sharp Azteca, a Kentucky-bred owned by Gelfenstein Farm, is being pointed for the $1-million Godolphin Mile in Dubai on March 25. Argentine-bred Key Dance, a homebred for Santa Ines Stable, is four-for-four at Palermo when going 1,600 meters (about a mile) – twice on dirt and twice on turf.
Key Dance, whose nine career victories to date consist of six tallies on dirt and three on turf, has won seven of her last eight starts, placing second once during that span when she was caught late on very heavy (wet) turf by a Group 1-winning router. Breaking from the outside post in the Group 2 Clasico Miguel Angel and Thomas Juarez Celman at 1,600 meters on Palermo turf on Saturday, the fleet filly stalked in second place before gaining command in the upper stretch. She was challenged late by a Group 1 winner (at 1,600 meters at Palermo), but kicked in through her final strides and was edging away from that rival at the finish. The 400-meter (about a quarter-mile) splits were 23.13 and 23.15 before actually accelerating around the turn to 23.12. Key Dance’s winning time was 1:33.71, projecting to a mile (about ten yards longer) time of around 1:34 flat. She has run 1,600 meters in 1:32.28.
It was Key Dance’s first start since winning the Group 2 Clasico Carlos Tomkinson by four lengths at 1,600 meters on Palermo dirt on November 25. In her latest victory, most of her rivals also were Group 1 or Group 2 winners at 1,600 meters. Key Dance is among three Argentine-bred Group 1 or Group 2 winners to represent Freud in Argentina and Peru during the current 2016-2017 racing season.
Both Key Dance and Sharp Azteca are slightly inbred to leading sire Halo and champion broodmare Ballade through full siblings – brother and sister champions Devil’s Bag and Glorious Song in Key Dance’s pedigree, and Glorious Song and another brother, leading sire Saint Ballado, in Sharp Azteca’s pedigree. Glorious Song produced Freud’s outstanding broodmare sire, Rahy.
Another recent Argentine-bred-and-raced winner sired by Freud, ELOTROYO, scored by five lengths going 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) on San Isidro dirt on February 15. Owned by Boca Paila Stable, the 3-year-old colt led early, was headed by the favorite on the turn, but regained the lead and pulled away. He had beaten 12 rivals while breaking his maiden on wet San Isidro dirt last October. Registering his 14th career victory at Monterrico in Peru was Freud’s indestructible New York-bred son, PARSIFAL, who led most of the way going a straight 1,000 meters (about five furlongs) on dirt against 11 rivals to tally by almost a full length under lights on Sunday evening, February 26. Owned by Marcial Stable, Parsifal has scored most of his victories at a straight 1,000 meters on dirt at Monterrico, but he also has won at a one-turn 1,300 meters (about 6½ furlongs) on Monterrico turf.
In North America, JUST STORMIN became Freud’s latest six-figure-earner when he led at all calls in Delta Downs’ 1 1/16-mile open allowance optional feature on Thursday evening, February 23. Owned by Charles Carlton, the Louisiana-bred beat seven rivals, including stakes winners of $289,200 and $258,614. A week earlier on February 16 at Oaklawn Park, 3-year-old Freud filly NOBLE FREUD won first-out by six lengths for Dwight Pruett’s Xpress Thoroughbreds LLC in a $72,000 maiden special at six furlongs. Foaled May 22, 2014, she was the youngest among nine starters and the only first-time-starter, but she made the favored runner-up settle for second after leading her through an opening quarter-mile in 21.94 and finished easily in 1:10.68 despite racing well off the rail around the turn. Owner Pruett, of Texarkana, Arkansas, had purchased the striking dark bay New York-bred for $30,000 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s October 2015 yearling sale, getting her for what now looks like a steal.