Freedom Child , most recently last of nine in the July 27 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), has been retired to stud at Country Life Farm in Maryland according to Terry Finley, founder and president of owner West Point Thoroughbreds, and Mike Pons of Country Life & Merryland Farm.
The 3-year-old ridgling son of Malibu Moon is to stand at the Pons family's operation near Hydes, Md., alongside stallions Cal Nation and Friesan Fire , Pons confirmed Aug. 10. The Pons started Malibu Moon in Maryland before he was sent to Kentucky to stand at Spendthrift Farm.
Freedom Child, 13 1/4-length winner of the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) on a sloppy track at Belmont Park, left trainer Tom Albertrani's barn Aug. 9.
Following his Peter Pan win May 11, Freedom Child displaced his palate and finished 13th in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) before the Jim Dandy. He retires with two wins, a second, and a third from eight starts and purse earnings of $170,072.
A $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling, Freedom Child is co-owned by Spendthrift Farm, which owns Malibu Moon along with the Pons family; and West Point clients Vinnie and Teresa Viola.
"We started Malibu Moon on his journey in 2000; he was with us four years before he went to Kentucky," Pons said. "We've been looking for a son of Malibu Moon for several years. We had to have a horse with looks and pedigree who had grade I ability and brilliance. He's a very handsome, long-striding horse; he kind of checked a lot of our boxes, and I think he'll be a horse that's impressive to see. He's going to fill in to be a grand horse."
Freedom Child is currently stabled at the Pons' Merryland training facility, but will stand at Country Life when the season begins.
"This guy still thinks he's a racehorse; he's in our training barn right now, but we'll probably bring him over to the Country Life stallion barn mid-September or so," Pons said. "He's a beautiful horse and I think he'll be very well-received in the Mid-Atlantic. He's the third new stallion we've added in three years, we think it's the right time and the right horse, so we're excited about him."
Spendthrift and West Point will remain as partners in the stud. A fee has not yet been determined.
"They'll participate and have mares to breed to him, which makes a big difference when you're starting a stallion," Pons said.