08/05/2010 3:28PM

Franny Freud retired before Test

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Tom Keyser
Champagne d’Oro, winning the Acorn on June 5, is one of the top contenders in Sunday's $250,000 La Brea on the opening-day card at Santa Anita.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. − The complexion of the Grade 1, $250,000 Test Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga changed dramatically Thursday afternoon, when Franny Freud, the morning-line favorite, was removed from the race because of an injury.

John Terranova, the trainer of Franny Freud, said she had suffered a ligament injury to her left front ankle and would be retired.

“We noticed some filling on the outside of her ankle,” Terranova said. “She never had anything wrong with her. But we decided there’s no sense risking her. She’s proven enough to everybody. She doesn’t need to prove any more. It’s a dangerous injury to come back from.”

Terranova said the injury was discovered via an ultrasound exam Thursday morning.

Terranova earlier this week compared Franny Freud to two-time champion Indian Blessing, who had great success in New York while stabled with the Terranovas. Her wins included the 2008 Test.

Franny Freud had won 8 of 11 starts, most recently the Prioress Stakes. Her defection makes the Test, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies, a more wide-open affair.

Terranova and his wife, Tonja, are the caretakers for trainer Bob Baffert’s horses when Baffert sends one East, and Baffert on Tuesday shipped in Bonnie Blue Flag from California for the Test.

Bonnie Blue Flag is stabled just yards from Franny Freud in Terranova’s barn. With Franny Freud out, the top contenders include the likes of Pica Slew and Buckleupbuttercup, the one-two finishers in last month’s Azalea Stakes at Calder, and Acorn winner Champagne d’Oro, who split Franny Freud and Bonnie Blue Flag when second in the Prioress on July 4 at Belmont.

Bonnie Blue Flag came up 2 1/4 lengths short in the six-furlong Prioress when finishing third, but she gets off the rail and comes into this race following a series of eye-catching workouts at Del Mar.

Champagne d’Oro’s race in the Prioress was her second straight excellent effort since arriving in New York with trainer Eric Guillot. On Thursday morning, Guillot took Champagne d’Oro to the seven-furlong chute on the main track for a gate-schooling session.

“So that when it’s time to break, she breaks,” Guillot said.

She starts from post 3, just inside Bonnie Blue Flag.

“I wish she was in the 5, 6, or 7 hole, but she’s outside the speed,” Guillot said. “I’m hoping most of them have more trouble than a fifth-grade algebra class.”

Pica Slew, who drew the rail, heads into the Test following three straight victories going six furlongs at Calder. This is her first start beyond six furlongs, and her first start since being moved to trainer Mike Hushion.

“She’s really been pretty easy,” Hushion said. “Regular to gallop, and in her stall. Nice and simple. We like simple. She came to us at Belmont Park four days after her last race at Calder. I’ve worked her twice. The first time we were careful. She went slow. She came back Sunday with a sharper work.

“Unfortunately, this is the best race of the meet,” he said. “It’s so competitive. I’d rather not have the rail going seven-eighths. I think everybody’s going to want to be second or third, 1 1/2 or two lengths off the pace.”

Hushion also sends out the unbeaten Lovely Lil, who has won two races against New York-breds by a combined 15 lengths.

Belle of the Hall is unbeaten in three starts, and Ash Zee heads into the race with a two-race win streak, including one against allowance company here July 24.

Tidal Pool, third in the Kentucky Oaks, had a horrible trip in the Acorn two months ago. This is her first start since then.

Snow Top Mountain tops Moseley

Trainer Tom Proctor’s momentum at this meet was stopped when his 3-year-old filly Keertana encountered some traffic when second to Miss Keller in Wednesday’s $70,000 De La Rose Stakes.

Proctor, who has three wins from eight starts at the meet, hopes to rebound Saturday, when he sends out Snow Top Mountain in the $70,000 Hattie Moseley Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going a mile over the inner turf course.

Snow Top Mountain finished a late-closing second to Caminadora in the Grade 3 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 12 in her most recent turf start. In that race, she was blocked behind horses in upper stretch and had to wait for several horses to pass her before she was able to get out and rally down the center of the course.

“It took her a little while to get running when she did get out,” Proctor said. “This filly is legit.”

Garrett Gomez rides Snow Top Mountain from post 4.

There appears to be plenty of pace in this field with Hyperlink, Diosa Indian, Ultimate Class, Shirley She Can, and Barracks Road in the field.

Also in the field are Sea Road, who is 3 for 5 on turf, and Protesting, who won a first-level allowance in her turf debut.

– additional reporting by David Grening