Stakes Advance
Nov 28, 2018
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Marley's Freedom makes East Coast return in G3 Go For Wand

by Najja Thompson

Set to make her first start since finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on November 3 at Churchill Downs, Cicero Farms' multiple graded stakes winner Marley's Freedom will headline a field of eight in the 79th running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Go For Wand for fillies and mares going one mile on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

One of four stakes races on the day highlighted by the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile for 3-year-olds and up presented by NYRA Bets, the Go For Wand will be joined by the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen for juveniles and Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle for 2-year-old fillies.

Television coverage of Cigar Mile Day will be broadcast on Aqueduct Live, presented by Claiborne Farm, airing on MSG+ from 3 - 4:30 p.m. ET.

Sent to the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert after winning an optional-claiming race on April 20 at Santa Anita Park, the 4-year-old Blame filly subsequently reeled off three consecutive graded stakes wins, capturing the Grade 3 Desert Stormer at Santa Anita, the Grade 2 Great Lady at Los Alamitos, and the Grade 1 Ketel One Ballerina at Saratoga Race Course.

Sent off as the 4-5 post-time favorite in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs, she raced four-wide most of the way, finishing fourth.

"She's come out of her Breeders' Cup race well," said Baffert. "She drew outside that day when inside was the place to be. I really wish I had given her a prep going into that race, but she's been training well since then. I've been wanting to stretch her out in distance because she's bred to run all day, but the one-turn mile should really suit her."

Drawing the rail, Marley's Freedom will be ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith.

Sower will enter off a victory against elders in the Pumpkin Pie on October 28 for owner Leonard Green and trainer Linda Rice.

A 3-year-old daughter of Flatter, Sower impressively broke her maiden by 7 ¼ lengths in her debut on April 28 at Laurel Park and has gone on to compile four wins from seven starts, including a pair of third-place finishes in the Grade 3 Victory Ride on July 8 at Belmont and the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks on September 22.

"She's doing very well. She came out of the Pumpkin Pie in good shape," said Rice. "That was her first start against older horses. This is obviously a graded stakes and it looks like it's coming up strong this year, but she's training very well. As well as she ran at the seven furlongs last out, I was excited about trying her at the one-turn mile."

Drawing post 3, Sower will be ridden by Manny Franco.

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey will enter Browse for Phipps Stable. A 5-year-old home-bred sired by Medaglia d'Oro, Browse won her debut while making her first seven starts on the dirt, including a second-place finish in the Our Mims at Delaware as a 3-year-old.

She subsequently made her next eight starts on the turf before returning to the dirt at Saratoga, winning a 5 ½-furlong sprint that was taken off the grass. Trying stakes company for the first time in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters on September 17 in her most recent start, she finished fourth after encountering trouble at the start.

"It's a pretty big step up for her, but she's been doing good," said McGaughey. "She's fresh and I like the distance, so we'll see. She was second in a stakes on the dirt, and she won at Saratoga, so I don't think that will be a problem. I just hope nobody will be loose on the lead. If it comes up sloppy that will be even better for us."

Jose Ortiz will pilot Browse from post 2.

Trainer Chad Brown will enter a pair of talented contenders in Pacific Wind, for owners Peter Brant, Sharon Alesia, Ciaglia Racing and Dominic Savides, and Your Love, for owner Paul Pompa, Jr.

Pacific Wind, a 4-year-old Curlin filly, won her 2018 debut in an optional-claiming race on April 13 at Keeneland. She went on to capture the Grade 2 Ruffian in her next start and most recently finished third in the Grade 1 Spinster on October 7 at Keeneland.

A 4-year-old daughter of Flatter, Your Love has four wins along with four second-place finishes from nine starts this year. Last out, she finished a game second making her graded stakes debut in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap on September 23 at Belmont.

Pacific Wind will leave from post 8 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons. Your Love will leave from post 5 with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano aboard.

Rounding out the field is 3-year-old filly Tigalalu for trainer Mark Hennig and owner John O'Connor. The Curlin chestnut is making her stakes debut following a pair of second-place allowance finishes on September 21 at Belmont and November 7 at Aqueduct respectively. Junior Alvarado has the call from post 6.

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