Cost of Freedom, claimed for $50,000 this summer by trainer John Sadler, repelled a strong bid from odds-on choice Street Boss to win the $250,000 Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I) (VIDEO) during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park Sept. 27. The victory earned Cost of Freedom a berth in the Sentient Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Gary Barber, who along with brother Cecil owns the 5-year-old Cee's Tizzy gelding, said afterward that Cost of Freedom would definitely be pointed to the Breeders' Cup following the half-length victory. Cost of Freedom, in his first graded race, completed the six-furlong distance in 1:07.53 on the Pro-Ride racing surface.
“It was a gutsy claim," Sadler said. "Mr. (Gary) Barber liked his race record. I was a little concerned that he hadn’t run that many times, but he was always very good. He was always right there. He’s a horse that likes synthetics. My thought was just to give him plenty of time.
“If you give him that spacing back – we had a lot of time between races – that helps your chances (for the Breeders’ Cup). I was worried about him bouncing. Obviously, we held him up. That’s another huge effort. Thirty days (between now and the Breeders’ Cup) looks a little close at this point, but he should be fine.”
Tyler Baze rallied the California-bred Cost of Freedom four wide on the far turn to get the lead from long shot Esparamos, Delta Storm, and Idiot Proof in the stretch. Cost of Freedom opened up a clear advantage approaching the furlong marker and finished with resolve while drifting inward in the final strides as Street Boss, ridden by David Flores, drew close before running out of time.
“I’ve won four times on this horse," Baze said. "We liked the outside post today, but this horse can do anything. He can go to the front and he can come from way out of it. Street Boss was the horse to beat and I wanted to get the jump on him. At the five-sixteenth pole, I looked behind me and decided to go and it worked out perfect.”
Street Boss, who lagged behind the six-horse field, looped to the outside while five wide to make his bid. In Summation, with John Velazquez riding, finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind the winner.
Delta Storm, who battled Esparamos and Idiot Proof for the lead through hot splits of :21.27 and :43.57., finished fourth, with Idiot Proof and Esparamos trailing.
“A good race for him -- a good Breeders’ Cup prep," said Flores of Street Boss' effort. "I would have liked to have won it, but second is next best. The race set up right; I was happy with that. They ran fast early and I thought they’d come back to me. But they didn’t.”
Cost of Freedom has won both of his starts for his new connections since being claimed from his breeder, Harris Farms, July 28 at Del Mar. The dark bay returned to defeat a first-level allowance field at six furlongs by nearly six lengths on the Del Mar Polytrack Aug. 9. Cost of Freedom has won six of 10 lifetime starts, and he boosted his earnings to $344,152 with the Ancient Title's winning share of $150,000.
Sent off as the fourth choice, he paid $13.60, $4.80, and $2.80. The Bruce Headley-trained Street Boss, whose five race winning streak ended in the Ancient Title, returned $2.60 and $2.10. The $2 exacta was worth $30.60. In Summation was $2.60 to show.