Six years ago, CURLIN came up just short in an epic renewal of the G1 Belmont S. Now, a colt from the two-time Horse of the Year’s first crop, the Lane’s End bred, raised and sold Palace Malice, has avenged the loss with a stirring victory over the winners of the Preakness and Derby, Oxbow and Orb.
Owned by Dogwood Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher, Palace Malice was never far back off fast early splits. He overhauled Oxbow nearing the quarter pole, and drew off under Mike Smith to win by 3 1/4 lengths.
“We always felt he had a big win in him. He just needed to put it all together,” said Pletcher of Palace Malice, who ran second in the G1 Blue Grass S. and third in the G2 Risen Star S. earlier in the year.
Lane’s End sold Palace Malice at the 2011 Keeneland September Sale, and has now sold a remarkable seven winners of the Belmont, including our stallions A.P. INDY and LEMON DROP KID, as well as Bet Twice, Jazil, Thunder Gulch, and Rags to Riches. And there’s another Lane’s End stallion who has tasted success in the Belmont, the 2012 winner UNION RAGS.
With the majority of members of his first crop just now turning three by the calendar, CURLIN is the #3 sophomore sire by earnings, the #2 sire by stakes winners, the #3 sire by graded horses, and the #3 sire by black-type runners.
CURLIN’s other rising stars include:
• Stopshoppingdebbie, a 3yo Northwest Farms home who remained unbeaten with a stakes-record-setting score in the Irish Day H. June 23. Looking to build off a win in the Seattle H. a month earlier, the 3/4 to MSW Smarty Deb (by SMART STRIKE), won the one-mile event in a swift 1:34 3/5. She’s trained by Tom Wenzel
• Flash Forward, a 3yo filly who ran second in the $90,000 Open Mind S. at Belmont June 23. Owned by MEB Racing Stables and Brooklyn Boyz Stables and trained by Dominick Schettino, Flash Forward was a $180,000 KEESEP yearling. She was bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings
• Countess Curlin, a Stonestreet homebred who won the Island Fashion S. and ran third in the Sunland Park Oaks
• Liberated, placed in the G2 Golden Rod S. Owned by G. Watts Humphrey, Jr. and bred by G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and John P. and Robin P. Cline II
• Blue Violet, placed in the G3 Rachel Alexandra S. Blue Violet is a Susan Knoll homebred and is and trained by Larry Jones
• Savanna la Mar, placed in the Star S. in England. Owned and bred by Kirsten Rausing
In the second half of June alone, CURLIN has seen no fewer than three new exciting maiden special winners from his first crop.
• Ol Donyo, a 3yo filly who won a 6f Parx maiden special by nine lengths June 22
• Keening, a 3yo filly who broke her maiden in her second career start in a Churchill Downs maiden special June 16
• Bold Curlin, a 3yo colt who beat 11 others in a 5 1/2f maiden special at Presque Isle June 16
Other maiden special winners by CURLIN in the last few months include Thats Our Princess (Woodbine), Butterfly McQueen (Lingfield), Atlantide (Jpn) (Hanshin), A Shin Epona (Hanshin), Kara’s Match Point (Aqueduct), Another Flashback (Golden Gate(, etc.
Given the success of CURLIN’s first crop runners, it’s no surprise members of his second crop were popular at the spring juvenile-in-training sales this year. His horses included:
• $270,000, f, CURLIN–Dignified Diva (Meadowlake) – OBSMAR – Consigned by Eisaman Equine and purchased by Stonestreet Stables representative John Moynihan. The half-sister to SW A Little Gem had worked an eye-catching eighth in :10 flat at the sale’s under-tack preview, and was acquired by the man who helped purchase CURLIN privately for Stonestreet. The filly was bred by Martin Cherry
• $170,000, f, CURLIN–Giant Canal (Giant’s Causeway) – OBSMAR – Granddaughter of Grade 3 winner Panama Canal, by GULCH, the filly was hammered down to F. Thomas Conway. She was bred by New Life Stable Inc. and had worked an eighth in :10 3/5. Eisaman Equine consigned
• $150,000, c, CURLIN–Silver Bird (Lit de Justice) – OBSAPR – Peachtree Stable’s John Fort purchased daughter of SW & MGSP Silver Bird from consignor Off the Hook, LLC. Bred by Jim McAlpine and Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings
• $105,000, f, CURLIN–Allencat (Storm Cat) – KEEAPR – Cot Campbell’s Dogwood Stable acquired half to SMART STRIKE’s SP Prizefighting from the family of champion ENGLISH CHANNEL. Bred by Robert Lail
So what’s all this mean? It means keep an eye on CURLIN – things are about to get exciting!