11/26/2016 6:37PM

Freitag sets track record in Sir Barton Stakes

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Michael Burns
Freitag, ridden by Alan Garcia, wins the Sir Barton Stakes by half a length Saturday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The favored Freitag lowered Woodbine’s 1 1/16-mile synthetic-track record while notching his first stakes win under Alan Garcia in the $125,400 Sir Barton on Saturday.

Freitag ($5.80) bided his time at the back of the pack along the backside, as Nevaeh’s Valentine set honest fractions, with 126-pound topweight Where’s the Widget in close proximity.

Freitag commenced a wide rally nearing the quarter pole and then outfinished 25-1 shot Maxsmiraclejourney to score by a half-length over that rival. Nevaeh’s Valentine finished a close third as Where’s the Widget faded to eighth in the nine-horse field.

The final time on the Tapeta of 1:42.16 was 0.06 seconds faster than True Metropolitan’s previous mark, which was set on the old Polytrack in 2007. 

“The main thing with this horse is you have to keep him clear,” said Garcia. “He has a big, long stride. It worked out good. What can I say? I had the best horse in the race.”

A son of Giant Gizmo, Freitag collected $75,000 for owner Earle Mack and trainer Mark Frostad.

“He’s been a wonderful horse,” said Frostad. “He’s been taking on the big boys all year. He finally got a stakes win, which is great because he deserves it. It’s taken him a while to grow into that 17-hand frame, and I think he’ll be a force to be reckoned with next year.”