July 27, 2015
Saratoga, North America’s premier race meet, opened this weekend in Upstate New York, and runners by CURLIN dominated the action. CURLIN had a pair of graded winners, including a Grade 1 winner and another that capped a three-win opening day showcase for the leading sire son of SMART STRIKE.
CURLIN’s up-and-coming sophomore filly Curalina was sent off the favorite in the weekend centerpiece, Sunday’s $300,000 G1 Coaching Club American Oaks, and came away with her second straight Grade 1 tally.
The G1 Acorn S. heroine, off at 4-5, stalked between runners as MGSW I’m a Chatterbox led. She made steady progress on the G1 Kentucky Oaks third, was asked the question in earnest at the furlong grounds and was flying late under John Velazquez. Steps before the wire, however, I’m a Chatterbox came out and bumped her soundly, and Curalina fell short by a nose. But stewards ruled the outcome would have been different if not for the contact and changed the order of finish.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbreds and trained by Todd Pletcher, Curalina has now won four of five starts and eared $666,800.
CURLIN arguably has the two top 3yo fillies in the nation at present. In addition to Curalina, he’s the sire of the West Coast standout Stellar Wind, winner of the G1 Santa Anita Oaks.
The #7 leading sire in the nation by earnings, CURLIN had three winners on Friday’s opening-day card at the Spa. The early co-feature was the G3 Schuylerville S. for 2yo fillies, and it was CURLIN’s upstart Off the Tracks who blew the doors off the competition. According to the official chart, the half-sister to MGSW Concord Point “…tracked the pace on the inside of two rivals, inched closer to the leader while in the three path on the turn, was asked coming to the quarter-pole, took over in upper stretch, moved clear into the final furlong while under a right-handed whip and proved much the best while hand ridden in the final sixteenth.”
Off the Tracks, now 2-for-2, was coming off an easy maiden special score at Gulfstream Park. Roderick Rodriguez trains her for J Stables.
CURLIN added two more winners later in the card. The 3yo filly Bishop’s Pond, a $250,000 juvenile purchase, rallied from far back to win a 1 3/16-mile turf allowance worth $85,000, while the 5yo Pulling G’s got up to win a $90,000 six-furling allowance on the main track.
CURLIN wasn’t just getting it done on the East Coast.
Out at Del Mar, his 2yo son Exaggerator lived up to his 2-1 favoritism with a driving maiden special score going six furlongs on the main track. Exaggerator is trained by Keith Desormeaux, who saddled last year’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red. Exaggerator could make his next start in stakes company.
Congrats to the connections of all these exciting youngsters by CURLIN!