For two dramatic seasons, he did it on the track. Now, CURLIN is leading the competition in the breeding shed as he is now a leading freshman sire of winners.
Off to a rousing start in 2013, Curlin three-year-olds made their presence felt from Aqueduct to Gulfstream. Stonestreet-bred Flash Forward captured an allowance at Gulfstream by 2 1/4 lengths on Jan. 3. On the 4th, Blue Violet was second in a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds and on the 5th, Dyker Beach, bred by Hermitage Farm, was second in a maiden special weight at Gulfstream and Curlin N Twirlin, a LE sales grad, was also second in a maiden special weight at Aqueduct.
The two-time Horse of the Year recently was represented by his second stakes horse when the exciting filly Liberated finished an excellent third in the G2 Golden Rod S. at Churchill downs Nov. 24. The Lane’s End sales graduate was coming off a smart maiden victory under the Twin Spires and was offered a 6-1 chance in the 1 1/16-mile main-track Golden Rod. Unfortunately, she lost all chance after being pinched back at the start and left some 10 lengths off the leaders, and she caboosed the nine-horse field through the opening six panels. But Liberated showed her class with an eye-catching move on the far turn–she was forced to go “brutally wide,” noted track announcer Mark Johnson–and though she flattened a bit in the stretch, she still finished a fine third to Seaneen Girl and CITY ZIP’s Gal About Town.
Out of the SW & G1SP Lady Melesi (Colonial Affair), Liberated is a half-sister to SW Roman Emperor and MGSP Doc Cheney. She was bred by G. Watts Humphrey Jr., John P. II and Robin P. Cline, and is owned by Mr. Humphrey. She’s trained by Vickie Oliver.
CURLIN is now the nation’s co-fourth leading freshman sire with 15 individual winners from his initial crop, including a pair of good ones last weekend. The Stonestreet Stables homebred Countess Curlin lived up to 1-5 advanced billing by easily romping in a maiden special at Retama for trainer Steve Asmussen Dec. 7. Two days later, French Curls, a daughter of Lion Heart’s graded-winning sister French Satin, broke her maiden at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Other exciting juveniles by CURLIN include:
• Jay Eye See, a 2yo colt who romped home by 7 1/4 lengths in a maiden special weight at Gulftstream on Dec. 19.
• Savanna la Mar, a 2yo Kirsten Rausing homebred filly who finished a strong second in the Listed Weatherbys Vat Services Star S. at Sandown Park. Previously, Savanna la Mar won a seven-furlong maiden at Chester for the Sir Mark Prescott stable.
• Palace Malice, a 2yo colt who made his mark at the prestigious Saratoga meet. The heavily backed colt lived up to his 1-5 odds in an $80,000 MSW, rallying powerfully to a 3 1/2-length victory. Bred by Lane’s End’s Will Farish and trained by Todd Pletcher for Dogwood Stable, the $200,000 KEEAPR graduate had earned a gaudy 102 BRIS figure running second to the highly regarded Carried Interest on debut at Belmont July 5. “He is the only CURLIN that we have, and we are very fond of this colt,” said Pletcher of Palace Malice. “We expected him to run well like he did first time out and maybe improve, but you never take anything for granted in this business. He’s still learning, and we were happy to see him win like this. It’s exciting to see a colt that is bred the way he is to show the kind of speed that he has, and you would think he would only improve as the distances stretch out.”
• Watrugonnadorosie, a 2yo filly owned by St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds. The $700,000 Keeneland September yearling made her second start a winning one for the Bill Mott barn at Belmont Oct. 19. She won off by 2 1/4 lengths in a $73,000 maiden special going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Ron Gilbert and Highgrove Stud bred Watrugonnadorosie, a daughter of Tears I Cry (Chester House).
• Lady of Luck, a 2yo filly who won by 2 1/2 lengths in her track debut in a maiden special weight at Ellis. Bred and owned by Fares Farm, who also bred CURLIN, and trained by Kellyn Gorder, Lady of Luck has a solid black-type pedigree. Her dam is the two-year-old stakes winner Lunarlady who is a sister to stakes winner Lunargal and a half-sister to Grade 3 winner and Preakness S. third Astrology, as well as to Grade 3 winner Lunarpal.
• Flash Forward, a 2yo filly who also got into the win column for CURLIN at Belmont Oct. 19. A $180,000 September yearling, the MEB Racing-owned, Dominick Schettino-trained miss asserted to take a $50,000 seven-furlong maiden by 3/4 lengths. Flash Forward was bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.
• Pin Oak homebred Evolutionary graduated in her second career start in a six-furlong maiden special at Remington Park Oct. 18. Hammered down to even-money favoritism, 2yo filly rallied from seventh and drew off to a clear win for trainer Donnie Von Hemel.
• Stopshoppingdebbie, a 2yo filly who rocketed through fractions of :21 4/5 and :44 4/5 and won off by seven lengths in an Emerald Downs maiden special. The Northwest Farms homebred is from a family that has enjoyed plenty of success with Lane’s End sires. Her three-parts sister Smarty Deb, by SMART STRIKE, was a three-time stakes-winning juvenile who some might remember finishing fifth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2007 at odds of 8-1. Another sister, Shampoo, by GULCH, was a five-time stakes winner.
• Curlamorous, a 2yo filly bred and sold by Stonestreet who won at first asking at Delaware by two lengths in September and then returned to the track in December to take an allowance race at Laurel.
CURLIN is also the sire of two winners in Russia. The 2yo colt Lucky First, bred by Becky Winemiller, won his career debut at Rostov-on-Don Hippodrome. Then Zimniy Dvorets, another juvenile colt by CURLIN, won the Summer Prize S., a Group 2 event in Russia, at the Central Moscow Hippodrome. He was bred in Kentucky by Aaron and Marie Jones.