Freedom Trail becomes a stakes winner in the Awad (Susie Raisher)
NYRA Press Office
ELMONT, N.Y.— Trainer John Terranova will have plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks as stakes-winner Freedom Trail sets his sights on the Grade 2, $200,000 Pennine Ridge on June 3 and three-time winner Our Shot looks towards a start in the Grade 1, $400,000 Jaipur on June 10, both at Belmont Park.
Gatsas Stables, R.A. Hill Stable and Steven Schoenfeld’s Freedom Trail and Terranova’s Our Shot, whom he co-owns with Gatsas Stables and Schoenfeld, breezed a half-mile together over the Belmont turf on Friday. The former covered the distance in 49.11 seconds while the latter completed his exercise in 47.88.
“Freedom Trail went out in front a little bit and then Our Shot kind of made up some ground to join him, so they finished nice together,” said Terranova. “It was beautiful.”
Freedom Trail, a sophomore son of Collected, flashed his talents early when winning his first two outings last year at Belmont at the Big A. He was a determined winner by a head on debut in September before another gutsy score in the 1 1/16-mile Awad in November, rallying from 8 1/2 lengths off the pace to best Dandy Handyman by three-quarters of a length.
This year, Freedom Trail has had troubled trips in both his outings, beginning with the Columbia in March at Tampa Bay Downs where he broke from the inside post and had to wait for an opening in the final turn to make a late bid and finish fourth. He was last seen finishing a closing seventh in the Grade 3 Transylvania on April 7 at Keeneland where he endured a similar trip from the inside post under the guidance of Frankie Dettori.
Terranova said he hopes to see a better trip for Freedom Trail in the Pennine Ridge, a nine-furlong turf test for sophomores.
“He didn’t get a good trip in the Transylvania and Dettori got off him and said, ‘The pace didn’t develop and I took him back and got trapped in there the whole way,’” said Terranova. “It happened in his first race too, so he’s been unlucky in his two starts this year. But he’s doing fantastic in the morning. I think as the distances get a little longer, he’ll appreciate that. We’ve got a lot of faith in this horse and he’s very good.”
Our Shot will make his stakes debut in the six-furlong Jaipur, which he’ll enter off a strong three-length allowance victory in pacesetting fashion on April 26 at Keeneland. The chestnut son of Kantharos has won 4-of-7 lifetime starts, led by his latest victory that saw him defeat multiple graded stakes-winner Bound for Nowhere and earn a career-high 98 Beyer Speed Figure.
Terranova said he originally planned to run the gelding in the 5 1/2-furlong King T. Leatherbury that was scheduled for April 22 at Laurel Park, but had to call an audible when racing was canceled that week at the Maryland oval.
“I’ve always liked this horse and brought him along nice and slow,” said Terranova. “We were on the also-eligible list twice at Keeneland before we even got in that last race. We were actually going to go to Maryland but we had to have him come back to Keeneland, so we entered for the allowance the following Wednesday. He’s a nice horse.”
The Jaipur, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Grade 1 Turf Sprint in November at Santa Anita Park, is one of 16 stakes events slated for the 2023 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which runs from Thursday, June 8 through Saturday, June 10.