Marley’s Freedom Completes Baffert, Smith Double With Ballerina Win

Cicero Farms’ Marley’s Freedom kicked clear in the final eighth of a mile to win Saturday’s Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths, at 9-5 the third consecutive favorite to win a G1 on the Travers undercard. The 4-year-old daughter of Blame covered seven furlongs over Saratoga’s fast main track in 1:21.39, giving trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith back-to-back G1 wins after Abel Tasman won the G1 Personal Ensign in the previous race.

Marley’s Freedom also earned an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint with her Ballerina win.

“Winning her last two races was pretty impressive,” Baffert said. “The quality is there and you have to come to Saratoga if you are looking for a championship. That is why I brought her, to see how she fits [and] this is a pretty good field.”

After stumbling at the start, New York-bred Still There closed well to finish second, besting Lewis Bay and Union Strike on the wire.

“Brilliant,” said Smith of Marley’s Freedom. “I hadn’t gotten to ride her in a while but last time I rode her in Florida she stumbled so bad and just never got up an got going but today everything went brilliant.”

Bred in Kentucky by Jack Swain III, Marley’s Freedom was a $35,000 yearling at the Keeneland September sale. She took a few starts to figure out how to win, but in 2018 Marley’s Freedom now won four consecutive starts, including this, her first Grade 1. Overall, the filly has won six of her 12 starts for earnings of over $650,000.

The post Marley’s Freedom Completes Baffert, Smith Double With Ballerina Win appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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