Marley’s Freedom Battles To Go For Wand Victory

Cicero Farms’ Marley’s Freedom was the heavy 1-2 favorite in Saturday’s G3 Go For Wand Handicap, but she and jockey Mike Smith had to work hard to hit the wire a neck ahead of 9-1 chance Come Dancing. Trained by Bob Baffert, the 4-year-old daughter of Blame covered one mile over Aqueduct’s fast main track in 1:38.35.

“Today was the first time going a mile, but she took a breath of air and once she got that second wind, she locked in and she wasn’t going to let them by no matter what,” Smith said. “We could have went around there again and they weren’t getting by her.”

The first quarter was extremely slow as Bonita Bianca attempted to get away with a fraction of :25.27, but Smith sent Marley’s Freedom up between rivals to press her pace mid-way down the backstretch. Bonita Bianca then rushed through a second quarter-mile in 23.29 seconds, which would prove to be her undoing.

Marley’s Freedom began to take command rounding the far turn, but was quickly challenged by Come Dancing as they straightened up toward the wire. Come Dancing kept the pressure up for the length of the stretch, but Marley’s Freedom held firm and refused to let her pass. At the wire, Marley’s Freedom was a neck ahead of Come Dancing, and it was several lengths back to Pacific Wind in third. Bonita Bianca faded to fourth.

Bred in Kentucky by Jack Swain III, Marley’s Freedom was a $35,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale. The filly entered graded stakes company at the end of 2017, but really hit her stride this summer with a four-race win streak, including the G1 Ballerina. Most recently Marley’s Freedom had finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs, beaten a half-length by the top three finishers. Overall, the filly has a record of seven wins from 14 starts with earnings of over $800,000.

The post Marley’s Freedom Battles To Go For Wand Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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