On Jan. 1, Cost of Freedom turns 11, a ripe old age for retirement, which is underway for the Grade I stakes winner of more than a million dollars.
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
A happy ending is most deserving for Cost of Freedom, who, with John Sadler training, reached racing’s apex in 2008 when he won the Grade I Ancient Title Stakes, and was third, beaten only a head, in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Sadler lost Cost of Freedom via the claim for $32,000 in September of 2011.
Cost of Freedom hit rock bottom just eight days ago, on Dec. 21, when he finished 10th of 11 as the 17-10 favorite in an $8,000 claiming race at Hollywood Park. He was claimed from the race by trainer Robertino Diodoro.
“I claimed him, and I was going to continue to race him,” said Diodoro, who saddled Macias to a game, front-running victory in Friday’s fourth race at Santa Anita for owner Jim McFadyen of Alberta, Canada.
“Everyone assumed I was taking the horse to Phoenix (to campaign at Turf Paradise). That wasn’t the plan, although if some of my horses can’t succeed in California, I do run them at Turf Paradise.
“Some people criticize Phoenix, but I’ve had horses coming out of California that were done racing and they retire, go out to pasture, or go to Canada to be a chuckwagon horse.
“But running in Phoenix, some are reinvigorated, because it’s easier company. You don’t have to train as hard there.“Anyway, after I claimed Cost of Freedom, my phone started ringing. I’m not on Facebook, but I started hearing a lot of stuff, and (Santa Anita head clocker) John Malone got a hold of me and wanted to put something together for Cost of Freedom’s retirement. He stepped up and purchased the horse (for $8,650, including taxes).”
Malone said Cost of Freedom is expected to arrive at his five-acre facility in Winchester, near Temecula, tomorrow.
“I’m happy to do what’s right for the horse, as who all involved are,” said Malone. “It’s the least we can do.”
“I just met John on Friday,” Diodoro continued. “He’s a super guy and deserves all the credit. Hat’s off to John. He’s been a class act, and it’s all about the horse.”
Sadler contributed $2,000 to help for Cost of Freedom’s retirement. “He was really a nice horse,’ Sadler said. “I’m happy to contribute.”
A son of Cee’z Tizzy-Freedom Dance bred in California by John Harris, Cost of Freedom won 16 races, was second 10 times and third seven in 47 starts. He earned $1,018,799.