Top Sprinters Clash in Ancient Title Stakes

Top Sprinters Clash in Ancient Title Stakes
Photo: Benoitphoto.com
Cost of Freedom, shown winning the 2008 Ancient Title, is attempting to become the first two-time winner of the race.

Cost of Freedom, attempting to become the first two-time winner of Oak Tree's $250,000 Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 9, faces a field that includes 2009 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Dancing in Silks and Smiling Tiger  .

The Ancient Title, at six furlongs, will be run for the 28th time in 2010. A field of eight is signed on for the event, which is the eighth on the program with a 4:30 p.m. PDT post. The card also includes the $150,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT).

Owned by Gary and Cecil Barber and trained by John Sadler, California-bred Cost of Freedom has won two of four starts in 2010 but was well-beaten in his last two starts, including a troubled loss to Smiling Tiger in the Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar. The 7-year-old Cees' Tizzy gelding won the 2008 Ancient Title in a stakes record 1:07.53 at Santa Anita.

Claimed by his current connections for $50,000 on July 28, 2008, Cost of Freedom has won four of nine since then. Overall, he is 8-for-17 with earnings of $677,263. Fourth in last year's Ancient Title prior to a narrow third-place showing in the BC Sprint, he has won seven of 11 starts at six furlongs.

Cost of Freedom drew post 6 and will be ridden for the first time by Alonso Quinonez.

Dancing in Silks, trained by Carla Gaines for owner Ken Kinakin, is winless in three starts this year. The 5-year-old Black Minnaloushe gelding produced a 25-1 stunner in the Sprint last Nov. 7 at Santa Anita by a nose over Crown of Thorns  . Cost of Freedom was a head farther back in third.

A winner twice in four races over Cushion Track, Dancing in Silks has won seven of 16 overall and banked $1,474,702. He drew the far outside post with regular pilot Joel Rosario.

Smiling Tiger, who defeated Cost of Freedom in a front-running effort in the Bing Crosby Aug. 1, is the lone 3-year-old in the field. He tired in his last start, the seven-furlong Pat O'Brien Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 28, and finished third.

Trained by Jeff Bonde for owners Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz, the Hold That Tiger colt has not been worse than third in eight career starts. He’s won four times and earned $369,064. Russell Baze, who rode Smiling Tiger in the first three starts of the chestnut's career, is reunited here.

In his most recent appearance at Hollywood Park, Smiling Tiger won the Lazaro Barrera Memorial (gr. III) May 22. He would be the fourth 3-year-old to win the Ancient Title, joining Groovy (1996), P.T.’s Grey Eagle (2004) and Idiot Proof (2007).

E Z's Gentleman is after his second grade I of the year, having won the Triple Bend Handicap July 10 at Hollywood. Owned by Arnold Zetcher and trained by Bob Baffert, the 5-year-old son of Yankee Gentleman   has not been out since running third in the Bing Crosby. The ridgling has four victories in 16 outings and has earned $329,711.

Supreme Summit was a winner in his comeback on Sept. 5 at Del Mar when debuting for trainer Mike Puype. Gato Go Win won Del Mar's restricted Pirate’s Bounty Sept. 8. New Bay was sixth of seven in the Pat O’Brien 13 days after being claimed for $40,000 by trainer A.C. Avila. Truest Legend steps up following a third in the Pirate's Bounty for trainer Brian Koriner.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Website will offer free, live video streaming of the Ancient Title.

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