Belmont: Heavy Rain Expected

Freedom Child in Belmont

New York - After a bad start in the Wood Memorial on April 6, Freedom Child will try for a clean break in this week's Belmont Stakes after winning the Peter Pan Stakes on May 11 at Belmont Park by 13-1/4 lengths.

Bad luck and being held by the assistant starter in the Wood Memorial prevented Freedom Child from having a considerable run and possibly prevented him from having a start in this year's Kentucky Derby.

The Peter Pan Stakes was the first graded stakes victory for the colt after taking the early lead and winning over a sealed track in 1:49:09.  He took to a sloppy track well and in the final stretch drew away from the pack.  After breaking from the inside post Freedom Child paid Win $9.20, Place $5.80, Show $5.10.

Sired by Malibu Moon and out the Deputy Minister mare Bandstand, Freedom Child looked good in his workout on Sunday with an open gallop of 1:22:10.  Heavy rains prevented workouts on Monday, but on Tuesday Freedom Child jogged the track and then put in 1-3/8 miles.  His preparedness should not be an issue on Saturday.

The plan for the Peter Pan Stakes was to be on the lead which Freedom Child seized confidently.  The Belmont is all about pedigree and stamina and is a different race at 1-1/2 miles where you need to keep close to the pace to be the closer.  Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds is looking forward to Saturday's race and says, "Freedom Child does not need to be on the lead Saturday.  If he takes the lead into the backside we are fine with it."

Watch out for this one as he has run on the Belmont track in the slop before and it will be wet tomorrow.  The track was sealed last night and they are preparing for the heavy rains expected in the area this weekend.

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