Dominating New York-bred Franny Freud looks to become a grade I winner July 4 at Belmont Park when she heads a field of five 3-year-old fillies in the $250,000 Prioress Stakes.
The daughter of Freud has been sensational since a partnership led by Paul Pompa Jr. bought her privately last summer. The bay filly has won six of eight races since the purchase, beginning with the Ontario Debutante at Woodbine in August, 2009 and ending with the restricted New York Stallion Stakes May 26 at Belmont in her turf debut.
Franny Freud should have no trouble returning to the Belmont main track, where she has won two of her three starts, including a 7 3/4-length romp May 2 in the New York Stallion Park Avenue Stakes. The versatile speedster has also handled synthetic surfaces very well, posting her lone graded stakes victory on the Keeneland Polytrack in the Beaumont (gr. II) back in April. Her only setback of the season came in her 3-year-old debut Jan. 16 on the Santa Anita Pro-Ride when missing by less than a length to Amen Hallelujah in the Santa Ynez (gr. II).
Trained by John Terranova, Franny Freud has won both of her starts at the six-furlong Prioress distance. Overall, she is 7-2-0 from 10 starts with earnings of $536,029.
"She’s a very gifted, special filly,” Terranova said. “She trains herself. She’s like a machine; she loves to get out there and breeze and she does it all on her own. We’ve had some nice horses come through the barn, but she’s just amazing, and I wonder if we’ve only just scratched the surface with her.”
Franny Freud was bred by Anthony Grey and is out of the D’Accord mare Frankly Fran. Garret Gomez has the mount.
The main competition for Franny Freud is likely to come from another horse who likes to run on the front end, Southern Equine Stable’s Champagne d'Oro. The Eric Guillot trainee pulled a 39-1 shocker when winning the grade I Acorn Stakes at Belmont June 5, a one-mile race where she defeated Amen Hallelujah by a half-length in wire-to-wire fashion. It was the first stakes win for the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro—Champagne Glow, by Saratoga Six.
Guillot said the Prioress makes more sense than shooting for the newly created BetFair/TVG Triple Tiara, which in addition to the Acorn includes the 1 1/8-mile Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 24 and the 1 1/4-mile Alabama (gr. I) Aug. 21—both at Saratoga.
“I don’t think we will (try the second two legs) because it’s just too far of a distance for our filly,” said Guillot, who instead probably will point Champagne d’Oro toward the seven-furlong Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 7. “I think seven-eighths is her best distance and I haven’t gotten to run her at it yet; that’s why I’m eyeballing the Test."
Champagne d’Oro entered the Acorn off a disappointing 11th-place effort in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), which was one start after she finished second in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II). The bay filly lost the first six starts of her career on synthetics in California, finally breaking her maiden in her dirt debut at Fair Grounds in February.
The remaining Prioress entrants are Bob Baffert trainee Bonnie Blue Flag, a California-based Mineshaft filly who won her dirt debut in the Cinemine Stakes May 31 at Lone Star; Funny Feeling, winner of the six-furlong Just Smashing Stakes the same day at Monmouth; and Stormandaprayer, who broke her maiden in front-running fashion last out June 12 at Belmont.
$250,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I, Race 9, 5:12 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 6 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Bonnie Blue Flag (KY), M Garcia, 120, B Baffert
2. Champagne d'Oro (KY), M Mena, 120, E J Guillot
3. Franny Freud (NY), G K Gomez, 122, J P Terranova, II
4. Funny Feeling (KY), A Garcia, 120, M J Maker
5. Stormandaprayer (KY), R Maragh, 116, J J Toner