Malibu Moon, the sire of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb, has another 3-year-old with an eye on a Triple Crown race after Freedom Child rolled to an eye-catching 13 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Peter Pan S. (G2) at Belmont Park, earning himself a shot at the June 8 Belmont S. (G1).
Malibu Moon now has 10 stakes winners in 2013, the most of any stallion standing in North America. Led by Orb's Kentucky Derby win, Malibu Moon's progeny have earned $4.65 million to date this year.
Freedom Child broke rather awkwardly but came quickly up the inside to lead through fractions of 23.51, 46.67 and 1:10.98 over a very sloppy racetrack that had been deluged by rains throughout the day. The chestnut pulled away around the turn, coming into the stretch with an eight-length lead. He continued to pour it on in the lane while well out in the middle of the track, hitting the wire in 1:49.09 for the 1 1/8 miles.
“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,” said Tom Albertrani, who trains for West Point Thoroughbreds, St. Elias Stable and Spendthrift Farm. “So, it worked out well. I was very pleased to see him win like that. I didn’t think he would actually draw away by that many lengths. 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, who was declared a non-starter in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial on April 6, increased his earnings to $167,072 with the winner’s purse of $120,000 and improved his record to 2-1-1 from six starts.
“I think we’re going to the Belmont Stakes in about four weeks,” said Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds. “I hope Orb runs well in the Preakness (G1, May 18 at Pimlico) and the whole world is watching on (June 8) for the Belmont Stakes, and I hope we upset the apple cart.”
Bred by Spendthrift, Freedom Child was a $350,000 purchase by West Point at the 2011 Saratoga Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling sale.