By Rab Hagin
Beating seven rivals that included four stakes winners at Saratoga and Belmont – one a Grade 2 winner and another previously unbeaten – BERNING ROSE ($223,800) captured Belmont’s $250,000 Maid of the Mist Stakes for 2-year-old fillies going a mile on Saturday, October 21, becoming the 57th stakes winner sired by FREUD. She was the youngest in the event and won by a length and a half in a time that was three lengths faster than the 2-year-old colt winner of the Sleepy Hollow Stakes four races later on the New York Showcase card under the same weight. Freud was the only sire of two winners on Belmont’s Saturday card: His 4-year-old son E J’S LEGACY ($137,315) won a $62,000 seven-furlong turf allowance five races later. Freud also was the only sire and broodmare sire of winners on the card: His stakes-winning SO N SO was the dam of the Iroquois Stakes winner immediately following the Maid of the Mist.
A homebred for Robert D. Rosenthal and Bradford H. Bernstein, Berning Rose broke from the outside post among eight Maid of the Mist starters and raced four-wide before gaining command from a stakes winner at Belmont (against open juvenile fillies) on the turn. Another rival, who had beaten then runner-up Berning Rose in Belmont’s Joseph A. Gimma Stakes a month earlier, tried to challenge in the final furlong but to no avail, placing second. Berning Rose seemed to relish stretching out beyond sprint distances, which jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who has been aboard for all three of her starts, confirmed:
“When Dom (winning trainer Dominick Schettino) asked me last time what I thought about stretching her out, I said I thought it would be the best-case scenario,” explained Carmouche. “I worked her the last two times, and I taught her how to rate a little better, because she was a little anxious. Today, she broke like a shot, and she just took me there whenever I asked her. She responds very quickly.”
Trainer Schettino elaborated: “We figured she would break running. I left it up to him (Carmouche) today. The more we can get her to settle, the more (she will improve). She has natural speed, but I think she will go a little longer as she learns to settle and relax. She is not a hard horse; she is not a run-off type. She is easy to relax once you take a hold of her, but she was ready for the race today.”
The aforementioned E J’s Legacy, who races for Wanda Polisseni’s My Purple Haze Stables and once had missed by a neck from winning a stakes on Aqueduct dirt, beat eight rivals while carrying co-top weight in Belmont’s seventh race on Saturday, clocking seven furlongs in 1:21.73 despite a rough start. Freud’s other recent co-top-weighted $62,000 Belmont allowance winner on turf is Patricia L. Moseley’s homebred back-to-back winning filly, LA MONEDA, who scored by 3¾ lengths over the runner-up favorite (to whom she was conceding three pounds) while beating eight rivals at 1 1/16 miles on October 18. La Moneda had won a $60,000 Belmont maiden special mile on turf 19 days earlier. Freud’s recent 4-year-old allowance winners also included FREUD’S AFFAIR, who scored consecutive six-furlong allowance victories at Finger Lakes a week apart on October 16 and 23, and HEY BRACIOLE ($210,426), who beat eight rivals at Parx Racing for her first seven-furlong win on October 22. Freud’s Affair, who was top-weighted when he headed a close Freud 1-2 exacta on October 23, races for his owner-trainer and co-breeder, Christopher Progno; Hey Braciole – seven of whose eight rivals were six-figure-earners and one was multiple stakes-placed at Parx – is a Pennsylvania homebred racing for Joseph Capriglione.
Berning Rose is Freud’s second North American 2-year-old stakes winner of 2017, following Oak Bluff Stables’ unbeaten homebred turf colt and Laurel Futurity winner, THERAPIST. The recent rash of wins by Freud’s offspring has pushed their sire’s 2017 progeny earnings past $5-million and placed him among the top-25 living North American-based sires in 2017 Northern Hemisphere progeny earnings. Freud is the only stallion among that top-25 standing outside of Kentucky or for a fee of less than $17,500.
In Canada, Freud’s graded-winning FOURSTAR CROOK ($693,166) placed a closing third among seven in her first effort at 1¼ miles, Woodbine’s Grade 1 E. P. Taylor Stakes for fillies and mares at scale weights on a rainy Sunday, October 15, over a soft turf course. Owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC, and Gary Aisquith, Fourstar Crook has won stakes on yielding turf at Saratoga and Belmont but appeared unfamiliar with a course as squishy as Woodbine’s. This was confirmed by her jockey, Javier Castellano: “She gave me a good finish, but it was soft ground, and she kind of struggled a little bit,” Castellano noted. “She finally switched leads, but it was at the sixteenth (pole), and it was too late.”
Finishing multiple lengths behind Fourstar Crook were a multiple Grade 2 winner on Woodbine turf, a Group 1 winner in Ireland this summer (the favorite), a rival coming off a Grade 2 victory on Woodbine turf a month earlier (the second choice), and another group winner in Ireland this summer.
Winning at Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada on the same day as the E. P. Taylor was another daughter of Freud, COSMIC DREAMS, who scored by 3½ lengths as the youngest in a contest at about six furlongs. It was the third victory and second tally in seven weeks for the Florida-bred filly, who races for Cecil Wiest.
Highlighting seven of Freud’s Argentine-bred South American winners within a recent ten-day span (October 12-21) were standouts on turf and dirt at Palermo in Buenos Aires on Saturday, September 21: the colt WORLD GURU in a record-breaking score, and recent listed stakes-winning filly TEPHRA under top weight. World Guru, who races for Tresiete (Three Hundred) Stable, beat ten rivals at 1,400 meters (about seven furlongs) on turf, clocking 1:19.57 to break the 3½-year-old course record held by a group winner. Tephra, who races for Las Canarias (Canary Islands) Stable, had captured the listed Espirita on turf at another Buenos Aires-area track, San Isidro, at 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) just 15 days earlier. Stretched out to 2,000 meters (about 1¼ miles) and top-weighted against six in a handicap on dirt, Tephra romped by three lengths to become a multiple winner on dirt and turf in eight starts.
Scoring his fourth victory at Club Hipico de Santiago in Chile on October 15 was Freud’s son DORYO, who won by more than four lengths against nine rivals going 1,000 meters (about five furlongs) for Don Simon Stable to register his first tally on dirt. Breaking their maidens were other Freud Argentine-breds: COSTA MEDIA going 1,000 meters at La Plata (Buenos Aires), October 12; FIORAVANTTI going 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) at Monterrico (Peru) and CUNEO going 1,400 meters at Palermo, both October 13; CANDLE IN THE WIND going 1,000 meters at Palermo, October 15. All of those maiden-breaking victories were on dirt. Costa Media, a 3-year-old filly owned by Mamina Stable, won by three lengths against ten rivals on a wet track in her third start. Fioravantti, owned by Dona Licha Stable, won by 5½ lengths against nine rivals in his second career start. Cuneo, owned by La Primavera Stable, scored by four lengths as the top-weighted favorite among eight and has won or placed in all four of his starts. Candle in the Wind, a filly racing for Lagrange Stable, tallied by two lengths as the favorite among ten.