Australian Runner Bound for Saratoga

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Sarrasin | Getty Images

By Alan Carasso

Trainer Richard Freedman, who along with his more recognizable brothers Lee, Anthony and Michael has trained better than 130 Group 1 winners over the course of 25 years, told Thoroughbred Daily News Wednesday that he is preparing Sarrasin (GB) (Monsun {Ger}) for a pair of starts in staying events at Saratoga this summer, with an eye on a potential berth in the GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.

“Our ultimate goal would be to run in the [$1-million GI] Sword Dancer Invitational S. [on the Travers Day undercard Aug. 25] and we’d probably like to run him in the [July 28 GII] Bowling Green S. prior to that,” Freedman said Thursday morning from Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, where he oversees a string of 35 horses. “He’s as well right now as we can have him and we think he’d be better suited under American conditions.”

The Sword Dancer is a ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

“We are very pleased that Sarrasin’s connections are sending him from Australia to the U.S. and will be targeting races here for a chance to run in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf,” said Josh Christian, Breeders’ Cup Senior Director, Racing and Nominations. “It is also encouraging to note that Sarrasin was made eligible to the Breeders’ Cup through the international stallion nomination program.”

Freedman, who only last year returned to training after 16 years with Australian racing broadcaster Sky Racing, is high on the 6-year-old, whose sire has been responsible for the likes of GI Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Shirocco (Ger), G1 Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate (Ire) and G1 Melbourne Cup winners Fiorente (Ire), Protectionist (Ger) and Almandin (Ger).

“I’ve gotten to know the horse pretty well and he’s got outstanding ability,” Freedman said. “I am not as familiar with American form as others, but from the research I’ve done, I think the type of horse that has been competitive in Europe going to the U.S.–he fits that category, so I’m quite confident that he’d be competitive at that level.”

Sarrasin will not have another start in Australia, Freedman said, and is tentatively scheduled to fly to New York at the end of June. He would van up to Saratoga after clearing quarantine.

“We would give him a couple of [barrier] trials here before we left,” Freedman explained. “It’s hard to find trials here past 1200 meters [six furlongs], but if he had a couple of those and maybe do a little more after the line and make it more like 1400 or 1600 meters, then he would be set.”

Bred by the Wildenstein family’s Dayton Investments Ltd., Sarrasin was a stakes winner in France in 2015 and subsequently ran the classy future G1/GISW Erupt (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) to a neck in Group 3 company while under the care of the legendary Andre Fabre. Third in the G2 Villiers S. (1600m) in his Australian debut for Lee and Anthony Freedman in December 2016, he was found to have bled when 11th to then-stablemate Winx (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}) in the G1 Chelmsford S. (1600m) in September, after which he was transferred to Richard Freedman. He made his most recent appearance in the G1 Ranvet S. (2000m) at Rosehill Mar. 24, finishing a decent fifth in the soft ground to the talented fellow former French galloper Gailo Chop (Fr) (Deportivo {GB}).

A half-brother to Sahrawi (Ger) (Pivotal {GB}), a French stakes winner over 14 furlongs, Sarrasin hails from the female family of the Wildensteins’ Steinlen (GB), winner of the GI Bernard Baruch H., the GI Arlington Million and GI Breeders’ Cup Mile en route to an Eclipse Award in 1989.

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