It’s been a remarkable summer for CURLIN. The two-time Horse of the Year has been represented by a Classic winner, an undefeated four-times stakes winner, a new Saratoga stakes winner, a track-record-setting juvenile, and one of the most exciting maiden winners we’ve seen all summer anywhere in the country.
CURLIN is now the nation’s #3 sophomore sire by earnings, the #3 sire by stakes winners, and the #3 sire by stakes wins.
CURLIN’s newest stakes winner came at Saratoga Aug. 28, when his up-and-coming 3yo filly Flash Forward dominated the $100,000 May Flag S. by 8 1/4 lengths. It was her first black-type victory. On the same day, CURLIN’s 2yo filly Miss Frost also ran big at Saratoga, finishing third in the $100,000 P.G. Johnson S.
The star of the show for CURLIN, of course, has been Palace Malice. Dogwood Stable’s flagbearer kicked things off early in June by defeating Preakness winner Oxbow and Derby winner Orb in the G1 Belmont S. for trainer Todd Pletcher. If anyone thought the race was an anomaly, Palace Malice followed up with a smashing win in the G2 Jim Dandy S. at Saratoga. He subsequently stumbled at the start of the G1 Travers S. and was left near the back of the pack, but put in a strong late run off a dawdling three-quarters in 1:13 2/5 and wound up fourth, beaten only a length.
Out on the West Coast, CURLIN’s 3yo filly Stopshoppingdebbie has been a stakes-winning machine for owner/breeder Northwest Farms LLC. The dark bay won the Washington Oaks Aug. 10, Kent H. July 14, Irish Day H. June 23, and Seattle H. May 26, and is now five-for-five lifetime.
Other CURLIN runners to earn black-type recently include Ol Donyo, a Lane’s End sales grad who ran second in Monmouth’s Just Smashing S. July 21; and Flash Forward, who ran second in both the Broom Dance S. at Saratoga July 24 and in Belmont’s Open Mind S. June 23.
As evidence that the CURLINs are really coming on, he’s had, just since the beginning of June, no fewer than 12 horses to break their maidens in maiden special company. That includes an immensely promising filly in the form of Socialbug, a $300,000 KEESEP yearling who counts the brilliant Midnight Lute as a half-sibling. At Del Mar July 21, trainer Bob Baffert unveiled the striking filly, who had been the talk of the track all day and was sent off the prohibitive 1-2 choice. Living up to the hype, she made all the pace and drew off to a 2 3/4-length decision.
Members of CURLIN’s second crop are already starting to shine. In fact, he’s the #8 sire in the nation by 2yo winners, with eight of his youngsters already having earned their diploma.
CURLIN registered a daily double of sorts at Ellis Park earlier in July. On the 12th, the 2yo filly Baroness Rose won by three lengths in a one-mile grass maiden special; a day later, the 2yo colt Ride on Curlin, Lane’s End Sales grad, set a new track record when he won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special by 7 3/4 lengths in a sparkling 1:03.00.
CURLIN is also the sire of the 2yo filly Maria Maria, who won off impressively by 3 1/2 lengths in a seven-furlong maiden special over Arlington Park’s main track.
CURLIN’s having another nice year at the sales, too. At Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, his yearlings included a $475,000 half-brother to SW Rock Candy (MINESHAFT).
What out for more of CURLIN’s yearlings at Keeneland September, where he has 40 catalogued. Six hail from the Lane’s End Sales draft, including Hip 139, a full to the Grade 2 runner Liberated and a half to SW & MG2SP Seruni, SW Roman Emperor and MGSP Doc Cheney.