by Alan Porter
Horse of the Year in Europe and two-time leading sire in the U.S., Giant's Causeway is rightly hailed as Storm Cat’s most important son. It was the turn of Giant’s Causeway’s less lauded brother, Freud , to step into the limelight September 24, however, his son Future Prospect capturing one of the weekend’s most notable events, the WinStar Kentucky Cup (gr. II) (VIDEO).
Born the year after Giant’s Causeway, Freud’s contrasts with his brother are a good illustration of the vagaries of inheritance. Giant’s Causeway, a chestnut, stayed 10½ furlongs well enough to capture the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) and was an indomitable foe, almost impossible to pass once he had the lead. Freud, a bay, seemed best at trips short of a mile, and was a far more enigmatic performer, needing to be held up for a late run and wearing blinkers when scoring his only victory.
Although he won only once in 12 starts, compared to Giant’s Causeway’s record of nine from 13 outings, Freud did demonstrate well above average ability. Second on his debut at 2, he was sufficiently well regarded to be sent for the seven-furlong Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I), where he finished a creditable fifth, beaten 2½ lengths by that year’s champion juvenile, Tobougg, in a strong renewal. Just a week later, Freud was dispatched as favorite for the one-mile Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I), but he appeared to be feeling the effects his previous outing when finishing a lackluster fifth, beaten nine lengths.
At 3, Freud was a close second in a maiden first up, then wearing blinkers for the first time scored an easy win in a mile maiden at the Curragh. Unplaced over course and distance in the Entenmanns Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) next time out, Freud spent the rest of his career racing over sprint trips. With the blinkers off, he gained a black-type placing with a third in the six-furlong Cork and Orrery Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot. In the Darley July Stakes (Eng-I) at the same trip he was only 10th, but actually put up a respectable display, finishing first among the horses racing on the unfavorable far side of the course as the 18-horse field split into two groups. Following that effort, Freud ran four times more without making the frame, although he was beaten only two lengths when sixth to group I winner Bahamian Pirate in the group I Phoenix Sprint Stakes.
If Freud was not quite qualified to stand in one of the major markets, his pedigree, allied to the respectable level of form he had shown, made him an interesting prospect as a regional stallion. And so he began his career standing under the Sequel Stallions banner in New York. Freud’s first crop hit the track in 2005, and in the ensuing seven years, he has established himself as the dominant stallion in the region. His first crop of 32 named foals contained three stakes winners and he has had four or more in each of his next five crops. He’s now responsible for 27 stakes winners and 53 stakes horses from 249 starters in his first his first six crops, for better than 10.8% stakes winners to starters, and a remarkable 21.3% stakes horses to starters.
The majority of those stakes performers have been in the New York state-bred program, but against that, it must be remembered that Freud has never stood for a fee of more than $10,000, so his offspring have not been sired from the cream of the broodmare population. Several of his runners have proved their credentials in open company, and in addition to Future Prospect, we can also note Franny Freud, successful in the Prioress Stakes (gr. I) and Beaumont Stakes (gr. II); Giant Ryan, winner this year of the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II); the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) second Quick Little Miss; and other graded-placed stakes winners Logic Way, Meriwether Jessica, and Hessonite.
Although he was bred in New York, Future Prospect began his career in Kentucky. Forward enough to make his debut in April of his 2-year-old season, Future Prospect finished off the board first time out and was not seen in public for another two years. As a 4-year-old, he won three of eight starts, taking a maiden claimer at Churchill Downs and other claiming events there and at Keeneland. Transferred from the barn of Dodson Skaggs to Mike Maker, Future Prospect spent all of his 5-year-old campaign in New York, making 12 starts—all but one against state-breds—and winning six races, including the Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga and the Jazzing Around Stakes at Belmont Park. This year, after another 17-month layup, Future Prospect returned to Skaggs, in whose colors he now runs. After winning one of his first four starts, the now 7-year-old really heated up this summer, winning, in succession, an optional claiming race at Churchill Downs and back-to-back allowance contests at Presque Isle Downs. With his horse in the form of his life and sporting a three-win streak, Dobson felt the time was right for a graded stakes debut over Turfway’s synthetic surface, and was rewarded with a brave victory.
Future Prospect’s dam, the Marshua’s Dancer mare Devil’s Waltz, has produced six other winners, including Waltzin’ Storm (by Storm Creek, another son of Storm Cat), a winner of six races and also runner-up in the Summer Stakes (gr. IIT) and Play the King Handicap (gr. IIIT). Devil’s Waltz is a half sister to to Miss L Attack, winner of three black-type events, including the Merck Agvet California Cup Distaff Handicap, to Japanese group-placed Kirt Clearance, and to Salsa Stacey, the dam of stakes winner Philadelphia Jim. Second dam Kirt’s Pride is a daughter of Kirtling (one of the best runners sired by English superstar racehorse Grundy) and is out of Satan’s Pride, a Crimson Satan mare who was a prolific stakes winner in capturing eight black-type events, the majority of which were in the Michigan-bred program. In addition to Kirt’s Pride, Satan’s Pride is also dam of the Comely Stakes (gr. III) victress Devil’s Bride and stakes winners Red and Rahbaby (the latter by Freud’s broodmare sire Rahy), and ancestress of several other stakes winners, including the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) victor Johnny Eves; Break Water Edision, who took the Nashua Stakes (gr. III); and the Japanese multimillionaire Peer Gynt.
Future Prospect is TrueNicks-rated B on the broad Freud/Raise a Native cross. However, there is also something of an interesting connection between his grandsire, Storm Cat, and his dam, Devil’s Waltz. Storm Cat is by Storm Bird, and his dam is by Secretariat (a grandson of Nasrullah) out of a mare by Crimson Satan. Devil’s Waltz’s dam Kirt’s Pride is by Kirtling, whose dam, Silky, is by Nijinsky II (bred on similar lines to Storm Bird), and Devil’s Waltz’s sire Marshua’s Dancer is out of a mare by Nashua (a son of Nasrullah), so a product of a similar cross to Storm Cat (in fact nine of the 16 ancestors in the fourth generation of Silky’s pedigree also appear in Storm Cat). To add to that, Kirt’s Pride is out of a mare by Crimson Satan, and for good measure, her second dam is by Kentucky Pride (bred on the same Bull Lea/Blue Larkspur cross as Bull Page, sire of the dam of Nijinsky II, and grandsire of the dam of Storm Bird).