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Kirkwood grad Freedom Child flies to win in Peter Pan

Posted: May 14, 2013 11:22 a.m.
Updated: May 15, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Inc./

FREEDOM CHILD LEFT a trail of mud and the rest of the field in his wake en route to 13 1/4-length win in Saturday’s $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes at soggy Belmont Park.

When Freedom Child was declared a non-starter in the Wood Memorial on April 6, the 3-year-old’s shot at the Kentucky Derby went by the boards.
Now, the graduate of Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables in Camden has its sights set on a run in the Belmont Stakes on June 8.
The 3-year-old Malibu Moon ridgling shrugged off a slow break from the gates to romp to a 13 ¼-length win in Saturday’s 59th running of the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (Gr. II) over a waterlogged main track at Belmont Park.
Jockey Luis Saez quickly took Freedom Child to the rail and the pair set the pace for the field of nine, going 23.51 for a quarter-mile and a 46.67 half-mile in the 1 1/8-mile run. The winner, who was sent off at odds of 7-2, stopped the clock at 1:49.09 as he crossed the finish line well ahead of Saint Vigeuer. Go Get the Basil was third.
“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 winning trainer Tom Albertrani on the NYRA Website. “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 was sent to Elser’s care by client West Point Thoroughbreds which owns the horse along with St. Elias Stables and Spendthrift Farm LLC. With the winner’s purse of $120,000, he increased his earnings to $167,072 and extended his record to 2-1-1 from six starts.
Not included in those starts was the Wood Memorial, in which Freedom Child beat the starting gate in reacting to Go Get the Basil in the adjoining gate. He was still in the hands of the assistant starter when the doors opened and finished last before being declared as a non-starter by the stewards.
While West Point Thoroughbreds President Terry Finley said not being able to have a chance at the Derby was a disappointment for his operation and Freedom Child, Saturday’s win over a course listed as sloppy was a nice consolation prize. He is hoping Freedom Child’s half-brother and Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, will come into the Belmont Stakes with hopes of winning the Triple Crown.
“I think we’re going to the Belmont Stakes in about four weeks,” said Finley. “I hope Orb runs well in the Preakness and the whole world is watching on for the Belmont Stakes, and I hope we upset the apple cart.”
Freedom Child will try to become the first horse to win the Peter Pan and the Belmont Stakes since A.P. Indy won both races in 1992.
Fiddler’s Afleet third in Corma Ray: Fiddler’s Afleet, developed in Camden at Donna Freyer’s Custom Care Equine, finished third in last Thursday’s $85,000 Corma Ray Stakes at Belmont Park.
The 7-year-old horse was second behind Be Bullish in the field of five for trainer Rudy Rodriguez but dropped back to third at the wire in a race won by Mine Over Matter by a length over Be Bullish.
In 34 lifetime starts, Fidder’s Afleet has eight wins and has earned $734,445

 (Turned from Home is a regular feature in the sports pages of the Chronicle-Independent spotlighting Thoroughbred flat horses, which were sent to the track from Camden, as well as local owners and trainers. Any persons having racing information which they would like to pass along and be included in this column should call the C-I sports department at 432-6157 or, via e-mail at


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