Saxon Warrior Filly Lands Million Dollar Prize
Freydis The Red (3f Saxon Warrior - Songerie, by Shirocco) earned a return to Grade 1 company after setting a new course record in the valuable Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs on Sunday.
The Kenny McPeek-trained filly won her maiden impressively at Churchill Downs before finishing a close fifth to Aspen Grove (Justify) in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks and was last seen finishing an unlucky third in a Grade 3. Stepping up to ten and a half furlongs in Sunday’s $1million contest, she was settled in midfield by Brian Joseph Hernandez Junior, before sweeping wide on the turn for home. Running on strongly to lead, she kicked clear to score by two lengths and three quarters in track record time.
“I think her last race, we probably woulda, coulda shoulda won it,” mused McPeek. “We felt the added distance in this one would benefit her. She is the consummate professional. You knew she would not have any quit in her.”
McPeek named next month’s Grade 1 QEII Stakes as his target for Freydis The Red, who he bought at the Arqana August Sale for €125,000. Owned by Three Chimneys Farm and Walking L Thoroughbreds, she becomes the first black-type winner bred by Eric Peruari and Oceanic Bloodstock out of Songerie.
Freydis The Red becomes a sixth individual Stakes winner from the first crop of Saxon Warrior, led by Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Victoria Road. Saxon Warrior’s early progeny also include another seven Stakes performers, including Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac runner-up Gan Teorainn and Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks third Impact Warrior.