11/25/2010 6:22PM

Hollywood: No challenge for Freedom


Cost of Freedom won his second consecutive sprint stakes in Thursday's $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes and the circumstances of the two wins were identical. Cost of Freedom had such speed from the gate that he avoided an early duel and led throughout.

Last month, Cost of Freedom won the California Cup Sprint. In Thursday's Underwood, he faced a tougher field, including the Grade 1 winner E Z's Gentleman and Scenic Blast, the Grade 1 winner from Australia and England. Neitherbothered the winner.

About the only horse on the circuit with the ability to threaten Cost of Freedom is Smiling Tiger, who won the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes here last month and finished third in the BC Sprint at Churchill Downs. Smiling Tiger used to race on he front earlier in his career, but is more prone to a stalking trip in recent starts.

A matchup between those two at the upcoming Santa Anita meeting would be worth watching.