Freud’s 16th Graded SW Therapist Gets 9th Stakes Win in Gulfstream’s G2 Pan American (1 1/2 Miles)

THERAPIST ($970,475) successfully stretched out to 12 furlongs to win Gulfstream Park’s Grade 2 Pan American Stakes on Saturday, April 1 after never previously having gone beyond nine furlongs, as the seven-furlong-to-mile standout became the 16th graded winner sired by FREUD. Therapist is the only stakes winner of 2023 sired by a Northeastern-based stallion and the only Grade 2 winner to represent a Northeastern-based sire in two years. Owned by Michael Dubb of Jericho, Long Island and bred by Lynn and Richard’s Leahy’s Oak Bluff Stables in partnership with trainer Christophe Clement, Therapist has been winning open company turf stakes since his 2-year-old season. The Pan American, which hosted eight graded turf specialists, was the ninth black-type stakes captured by Therapist, seven of which have been at seven furlongs (three) or a mile (four). Therapist’s total of 12 victories from six to 12 furlongs includesa 4 1/2-length tally on Gulfstream Park’s all-weather (Tapeta) track on February 11.

“We have conversations about pedigree,” winning owner Dubb explained. “The pedigree really screamed long, and we said, ‘Let’s give it (a mile and a half) a try and see what happens.’”

Nolan Ramsey, assistant to winning trainer Mike Maker concurred: “He (Therapist) does everything right. He’s easy to train. This was his first start at this distance, but his pedigree says he’ll run long. It worked out.”

Confirming expectations by Dubb and Ramsey, another versatile son of Freud and sometime rival of Therapist, DOT MATRIX($681,677), won the graded John B. Connally Turf Cup at a mile and a half on Sam Houston turf in 2020. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. also was not surprised by the Pan American outcome despite Therapist’s previous specialty at shorter distances: “No worries despite the slow start because that’s just what he does. I let him find his stride…and he responded well. He always does.”

Now tantalizing close to becoming Freud’s fourth millionaire, Therapist found the Pan American’s fluctuating time splits easy to navigate, advancing from sixth place to third at mid-stretch and overtaking the Grade 2-winning near even-money favorite as well as the runner-up in the final furlong. He is among 75 black-type stakes winners sired by Freud, who is the only Northeastern-based sire of graded-winning millionaires on dirt (SHARP AZTECA at $2,406,740) and turf (FOURSTAR CROOK at $1,624,566). The former of those two was the leading first-crop sire of winners in 2022 and is among the top-dozen second-crop sires of 2023; the latter sold for $1.5-million as a not-bred broodmare prospect in 2018. Freud’s annual progeny earnings record for a Northeastern sire, set at more than $6.3-million in 2017, still stands and has not been approached by any other stallion in the area.

Therapist and stakes-winning sister FRESCO are the only successful runners – and only progeny of Freud – among three winners and seven named offspring produced from French and U.S. winner Lady Renaissance, a Smart Strike mare previously bred to Kentucky-based stallions standing for fees ranging from $15,000 (now $100,000) to $35,000. Therapist suddenly has many options available for 2023.