Favored Mr Freeze dug in stoutly within the stretch below Corridor of Famer Javier Castellano to carry off Aurelius Maximus and win the $250,000 Fayette Stakes (G2) over 1 1/8 miles on the primary monitor at Keeneland Race Course on Saturday.
The sport victory by Mr Freeze over a tough-luck Aurelius Maximus was his first since scoring within the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) in February. A 5-year-old horse by To Honor and Serve, Mr Freeze entered the Fayette after a third-place end within the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and consecutive off-the-board finishes within the Met Mile (G1) and Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs on Sept. 4.
“At the moment he ran like his outdated self,” mentioned successful coach Dale Romans, who was second in final yr’s Fayette to Tom’s d’Etat. “That was a tough journey for him. I wasn’t anticipating him to be 4 huge on each turns and stalking horses, however he confirmed what a great horse he actually is.”
Despatched off the 8-5 favourite in a nine-horse area, Mr Freeze was caught huge on the primary flip and remained caught outdoors whereas stalking opening fractions of 24.00 and 49.06 set by longshot Mo Mosa, whereas Aurelius Maximus raced up near his outdoors.
Down the backstretch, the leaders finally had been 4 abreast with Mr Freeze and Aurelius Maximus a part of the quartet. With six furlongs accomplished in 1:13.45, Aurelius Maximus and Ricardo Santana Jr. bumped into visitors. The tight quarters pressured Aurelius Maximus to pinch again momentarily, dropping momentum and treasured lengths.
Mr Freeze proceeded to hit his finest stride on the second flip and had opened up a transparent lead coming into the stretch, but it surely wasn’t over but. A resurgent Aurelius Maximus began the chase on the surface and the margin diminished till the wire, the place a gutty Mr Freeze proved finest by a few neck in 1:50.71 on a quick monitor.
Mr Freeze paid $5.20 to win whereas upping his report to 16: 6-4-2 with greater than $1.5 million in earnings for homeowners Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister. Aurelius Maximus was adopted throughout the wire by Title Prepared and Coastal Protection.
— Keeneland Racing (@keenelandracing) October 10, 2020
Romans mentioned a visit to the Breeders’ Cup may very well be forthcoming for Mr Freeze given this newest efficiency.
“We’re going to have to speak about it. We talked concerning the Filth Mile earlier than, however we’ll have to speak about every part,” mentioned Romans, additionally referring to the Traditional. “Every part’s on the desk.”