– WILDCAST WISH PROVES MUCH THE BEST IN THE FREMONT STAKES –
VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted a pair of stakes races on Saturday night and the results were vastly different in each event. The result of the $100,000 Pelican Stakes was a shocker as 70-1 longshot Freakonthelead pulled a jaw-dropping upset before Wildcat Wish scored a much more formful victory in the $70,000 Fremont Stakes at odds of 5-2.
Freakonthelead was sent off as the longest shot on the tote board in the Pelican under jockey Timothy Thornton, who kept his mount close to the lead in the seven-furlong affair. The early pace was set by Bending Saint, who covered the opening quarter-mile in 24.42 seconds, the half in 49.70, and three-quarters in 1:14.41. As the field of nine reached the upper-stretch, Freakonthelead took the lead but was under pressure all the way to the finish line where he was a half-length to the good of both Underpressure and Magic Vow, who would up in a dead heat for the place position.
Freakonthelead covered the distance in the 3-year-old race for Louisiana-breds in a time of 1:27.46. The race was contested over a fast track.
The win by Freakonthelead, who is owned by Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC (Carrol Castille) and trained by Steven Flint, was the second of his career. He had just broken his maiden in his most recent start which came on December 7. The winner’s paycheck of $60,000 raised his bankroll to $103,320.
Freakonthelead is a 3-year-old chestnut runner by Run Production, out of the Always a Classic mare Always on Top. He was bred in the Bayou State by Carrol J. Castille.
Fans who took a flyer on Freakonthelead were rewarded with massive payoffs of $143 to win, $21.60 to place and $10 to show. Underpressure, the 6-5 favorite, paid $2.20 to place and $2.40 to show. Magic Vow was worth $2.60 to place and $3 to show.
The Fremont Stakes win by Wildcat Wish came with a similar trip to Freakonthelead as he pressed the early pace before taking a big lead in the stretch and reporting home with a six-length victory over race favorite Louisiana-bred, Mageez. It was Wildcat Wish’s second stakes score of the meet as he also won the Sam’s Town Stakes on Jackpot Day, November 19.
Wildcat Wish was ridden to victory by Luis Negron, who accepted the mount from trainer Efron Loza, Jr. The Florida-bred son of Wildcat Heir is owned by St. George Stable, LLC (German Larrea). Wildcat Wish has now won five of 18 lifetime starts and earned a total of $232,455.