Airdrie Stud's American Freedom kicked off his freshman year in the best way possible, siring his first winner from his first starter when his daughter American Bound won a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Keeneland in front-running fashion by 1 1/2 lengths in :52.01.
Bred in Kentucky by Sandra Sexton and Silver Fern Farm, the bay 2-year-old filly is owned by Terry Hutto and trained by Joe Sharp. Hutto bought American Bound for $15,000 as a yearling from consignor Sharon Biamonte at the 2020 Ocala Breeders' Sales Winter Mixed Sale. Biamonte had purchased the filly for $20,000 at the previous year's Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale from Warrendale Sales.
American Bound is out of the winning Stormy Atlantic mare Grace Abounds, who is out of the stakes winner Dance With Grace making her a half sister to Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Santa Anita Handicap (G1) runner-up Setsuko and to Indy Dancer, who was third in the Florida Derby (G1). Dance With Grace (Mr. Prospector) is a full sister to multiple grade 2 winner Souvenir Copy and English group 2 winner Dance Sequence.
Comments that American Freedom's progeny were serious about running have been swirling around all winter, said Bret Jones with Airdrie, where the 8-year-old multiple grade 1-placed, grade 3-winning son of Pulpit stands for $6,000.
"Talking with the 2-year-old consignors and those that have his progeny in training, what we have been hearing has been overwhelmingly positive," Jones said. "They really want to train, and they really want to be racehorses."
American Freedom's 2-year-olds have made a strong first impression at the first 2-year-olds in training sales through which seven have sold and averaged $184,571. A filly out of the Indian Charlie mare Listen to Libby and bred by Airdrie founder Brereton C. Jones sold this week for $550,000 at Fasig-Tipton's The Gulfstream Sale. The filly was consigned by Wavertree Stables and bought by Maddie Mattmiller for Black Type/R.A. Hill. American Freedom also was represented by three six-figure purchases during the Ocala Breeders' Sales March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, including a $260,000 colt out of Divine Happiness (Divine Park), a $160,000 filly out of Lakefront (Deputy Minister), and a $150,000 colt out of Datttcatsgotrhythm (Tale of the Cat).
Twenty-two juveniles have been cataloged for the OBS Spring 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale to be held April 20-23.
Gary and Mary West's bloodstock agent and racing manager Ben Glass bought American Freedom for $500,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September Yearling Sale out of Greenfield Farm's consignment. Trained by Bob Baffert, American Freedom also won at first asking, though it was in April of his 3-year-old year. He became a stakes winner by his third start when he won the LARC Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The colt followed that effort with a 4 3/4-length win in the Iowa Derby (G3) and consecutive runner-up finishes in the betfair.com Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) and the Travers Stakes (G1).
"American Freedom never got enough credit for being among the best 3-year-olds of 2016," said Jones. "He didn't get the grade 1 that would have made him a more expensive stallion, but he beat the best of his class."
In the Haskell, American Freedom beat that year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Nyquist and third-place Derby finisher Gun Runner . In the Travers, he beat Gun Runner again along with Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Exaggerator and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Creator.
American Freedom retired with three wins and two seconds out of eight starts and earned $705,100.
Airdrie and the Wests are partners in American Freedom's stud career, which began in 2018 with a $10,000 stud fee. He stood for $10,000 through the 2020 breeding season.
"The Wests have been tremendous partners and went out and bought some really quality mares to support American Freedom," said Jones, noting that just between Airdrie and the Wests, they've bred around 150 mares to the stallion during his first four years at stud.