Argentine Star Freddy Nears U.S. Debut

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Argentine star Freddy will probably make his United States debut in the $150,000 Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) on closing day July 18 at Hollywood Park, trainer Donald Burke II said Sunday after the 5-year-old horse worked on turf.

"It's 80-20 that he will run," Burke said after expressing satisfaction with the drill under Iggy Puglisi. "I got him in 1:42 and change for a mile." Clockers caught him in 1:30 2/5 for seven furlongs.

Freddy won five of six starts in Argentina in 2002, climaxed by a 3 1/2-length victory in the prestigious Carlos Pellegrini Stakes (Arg-I) at 1 1/2 miles on turf, the Sunset distance.

The Pellegrini was one of three group I victories scored by Freddy, who also won the Argentine Derby on the main track.

"I bought him for Mr. (Gary) Tanaka before the Pellegrini," said Burke. "He hurt his knee at Santa Anita last August when I had him ready to run. We had to give him some time off and brought him back."

Burke is best known for training graded stakes winner Falcon Flight, who finished third in the 2002 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT). "Freddy is a much more deliberate horse than Falcon Flight," said Burke. "He's a little bit of a lazy horse. He doesn't like to work much in the morning. We had to slow Falcon Flight down."

The chestnut horse is by Roy out of the Lyphard's Wish mare Folgada.

Sabiango, winner of the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) in his last start, worked six furlongs on grass in 1:14 2/5 under exercise rider Derek Oldham.

"I had him in 1:13 and change; he went very well," said Tim Yakteen, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert. "Bob and Monty (lessee Monty Roberts) will put their heads together in the next few days and decide if he runs in the Sunset."