Longshot Freedom Flyer Takes $100,000 Wishing Well Stakes
__LONGSHOT FREEDOM FLYER TAKES $100,000 WISHING WELL STAKES BY A NECK AND PROVIDES DETTORI WITH HIS FOURTH WIN ON THE DAY __
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 18, 2023)—Trainer Leonard Powell’s Freedom Flyer was all business on the front end today at Santa Anita, as she showed the way en route to a neck victory in the $100,000 Wishing Well Stakes and thus provided jockey Frankie Dettori with his fourth win from seven mounts on the Saturday card. Run at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, Freedom Flyer stopped the clock at 1:12.34.
Breaking sharply from her outside post position in a field reduced by three scratches to six older fillies and mares, Freedom Flyer shook off Stella Noir at the dirt crossing and then held race favorite Big Summer and Bay Storm off late for her first career stakes win.
“I’m very happy about her performance,” said Powell. “She was sharp out of the gate. I was very happy because she was extremely game for the last eighth of a mile, she had challenges from multiple horses and she fought them all the way.”
Although she was most recently a close third down the hill in the Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes Jan. 2, Freedom Flyer was dismissed at 7-1 and paid $16.40, $6.60 and $3.60.
A 5-year-old mare by Constitution out of the Carson City mare Rebuke, Freedom Flyer is owned by Marsha Naify. Now two for four down Santa Anita’s unique hillside layout, she improved her overall race record to 21-4-5-4. With today’s winner’s prize of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $272,120.
“You’ll have to go back a few years since I’ve had four winners in one day, amazing,” said Dettori, a European legend who has announced his illustrious career will come to a conclusion following the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita in November. “I had some good rides, they all ran super. (This) filly, she’s very game and I was eager for the wire to come.
“They were coming from every direction and we managed to hang on…It’s been a super day. All the horses and all the people, they are all for it and they have been fantastic.”
The lone California-bred in the lineup, Big Summer was about two lengths off the lead at the dirt crossing, wheeled five-deep turning for home ran out of real estate in a big effort. Off as the 9-5 favorite with Joe Bravo, she finished a neck in front of Bay Storm and paid $3.40 and $2.40.
Ridden by Kazushi Kimura, Bay Storm was close to the pace when bumped hard by Stella Noir at the half mile pole and did well to run third, beaten less than one length. Off at 2-1, she paid $2.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.26, 44.35 and 1:06.48.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m.