Freedom Child Wins Peter Pan by 13 Lengths!
Freedom Child stamped his ticket to the June 8 Belmont Stakes (G1) with a resounding 13 1/4 length victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park.
The chestnut son of Malibu Moon rebounded off an eventful run in the April 6 Wood Memorial. That day, he spotted the field multiple lengths after being left in the hands of the starter when the gates opened. Prior to the Wood Memorial, he won a maiden race at Gulfstream Park by five lengths over next out winner Bellarmine. Last fall he was second to Kentucky Derby winner Orb while two lengths ahead of Derby third place finisher Revolutionary.
"We thought we were set to run well in the Wood; we just had a little bit of bad luck," said Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds. "The next day we put a circle around the Peter Pan. We’d love to see a Triple Crown winner in Orb, but have a lot of confidence in our colt and think he could upset the applecart come June 8.”
"With the pedigree, all the experts were talking about how the Malibu Moons would relish the off going, so we weren't that concerned. They all have to run over the same racetrack. We thought we were coming in with a loaded gun. We knew there were some quality horses in there, but we thought if he had the chance to go down the backside on the lead and got his air, he'd be tough to beat."
Under Luis Saez, Freedom Child broke a step slow in the Peter Pan but was quickly intro stride and on the lead. He ticked off fractions of :23.51 and :46.67 while never really challenged, opening a two-length lead up the backstretch and increasing that margin to four lengths after completing six furlongs in 1:10.98.
"He was a little slow coming out of there," Saez said. "I just put him in the race and he responded perfect. In the chute he wanted to run, so I let him run."
"The plan was to be on the lead. and luckily he was able to quicken up leaving the gate and get to an easy lead," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "Once I saw him on the lead like that I was pretty confident at the half-mile pole by the way he was traveling."
Freedom Child was named after Partner Misty Gonzalez’s and Tom Wilson’s independent label, Freedom Child Entertainment. Click here to read an interview we did with them last spring.
Here’s a look at Misty singing “Freedom Child”: