January 27, 2014

Runners from CURLIN’s third crop have yet to hit the track in 2014, but those from his second are making plenty of early season noise—including the top Derby prospect Top Billing. The Lane’s End homebred, tabbed a “Rising Star” by the Thoroughbred Daily News after a last-to-first win in the slop at Laurel in early December, again rallied from last to capture a Gulfstream allowance Jan. 25. Top Billing will likely make his next start in stakes company, according to trainer Shug McGaughey. “For him to get back and make a run like that…he was an easy winner,” said the Hall of Famer. “I was impressed with him.”

Top Billing capped a huge weekend for CURLIN that also saw

  • the 4yo colt Bold Curlin earn his first black type win in the $100,000 Native Dancer S. at Laurel by two lengths
  • the 4yo filly Flash Forward run 2nd in the $100,000 Ladies H. at Aqueduct
  • the 4yo colt Jay Eye See run 3rd in the Thrillin Discovery H. at Calder
  • the 4yo filly Blue Violet win a $42,000 allowance at Fair Grounds by 2 3/4 lengths

Meanwhile, in the span of less than a week, not one but two of CURLIN’s California-based 3yos were tabbed Rising Stars by the TDN.

On Jan. 20, Texas Ryano made an eye-catching debut in a one-mile maiden special on the turf at Santa Anita.

According to the TDN, Texas Ryano “…was unhurried early and trailed the field behind fractions of :22.34, :45.88 and 1:10.50. Still last at the top of the stretch, he was forced to wait for racing room before angling to the outside and closing with a vengeance to be 3/4 lengths in front on the wire. He completed the one mile in 1:34.84.”

Texas Ryano, a Warren B. Williamson homebred, is trained by Carla Gaines.

Then on Jan. 26, the 3yo filly Diversy Harbor, also making her debut, registered a similar last-to-first victory going 6 1/2 panels over Santa Anita’s grass. The TDN wrote Diversy Harbor “…was away well from the nine-hole in this 13-horse affair and was settled off of the pace in mid-pack under the patient hands of Hall of Famer Gary Stevens through solid early splits of :22.03 and :43.88. Second to last entering the far turn, the flashy bay was taken all the way out to the center of track and came charging home full of run. Diversy Harbor inhaled her rivals to score by three lengths under a hand ride and stopped the clock in 1:13.17.”

Diversy Harbor, a half to the first-class Snow Top Mountain and Keertana, was bred by Barbara Hunter. Tom Proctor trains for the red-hot Glen Hill Farm.

CURLIN now has three first-out maiden special winners in January. On Jan. 18, his daughter Charlie A won first out in a 7 1/2-furlong maiden special at Gulfstream Park. The Casa Farms homebred bid three wide and powered away to a three-length success. Charlie A is trained by Michelle Nihei.

Just prior to the New Year, meanwhile, the Niall Racing homebred Please Explain, a filly by CURLIN who was then 2, dominated a two-turn Gulfstream maiden special on the dirt by 5 1/2 lengths for the Tom Proctor barn.

CURLIN’s current crop of 3yos also includes the Grade 1 performer Ride On Curlin and the stakes horses Maria Maria, Miss Frost and Charismata.

CURLIN’s first crop, of course, includes the G1 Belmont S. winner and Eclipse finalist Palace Malice, the New York stakes winners Ol Donyo and Flash Forward, and the further stakes winners Stopshoppingdebbie and Countess Curlin. CURLIN now has six overall stakes winners from his first crop.

CURLIN is this season’s leading third-crop sire by earnings, winners (13) and black-type horses (3), and is the leading cumulative third-crop sire by black-type horses (17)!

Looking to catch a sire on a meteoric rise in 2014? Breed to two-time Horse of the Year CURLIN!

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