Welcome to another installment of this week in Curlin babies: all the news that’s fit to print about Blinkers Off’s favourite sire. There was lots of action this week, including a couple of really nice stretch duels featuring Ride On Curlin and Woelf Den. So, what have the Curlin babies been up to this week?
- Calamondin (Redaspen, by Bianconi) – On March 19, Calamondin blew away a six furlong maiden special weight in the mud at Laurel, winning by a widening 10 3/4 lengths. The four-year-old colt bided his time, stalking the frontrunning Saker Falcon from just outside. He pulled ahead just before the quarter pole, but was still only a head in front coming into the stretch. In that final furlong, it looked like he shot to the moon! It wasn’t the fastest furlong ever, 12.34, but it was so much more than the rest of the field was able to muster in the slop. This was the fourth start of his career, and his second off of a four-month lay. He showed improved form even in that first start off the lay, and hopefully he will be able to rate well against winners going forward.
- Curlin’s Gem (A Little Gem, by Yonaguska) – On March 15, Curlin’s Gem finished 5th beaten 8 1/2 lengths in a six furlong maiden special weight for three-year-olds at Gulfstream. He was far back early, made up some ground through the stretch, but wasn’t able to sustain any sort of run. This was his first career race, and he was the second longest shot in a field of ten (33.30-1). Hopefully a little familiarity with being in a race will help him improve next time out.
- Curls For Girls (Montera, by Easy Goer) – On March 14, Curls For Girls finished 2nd beaten 6 1/2 lengths in in an N1X allowance, one mile in the Delta Downs dirt. It was the four-year-old filly’s first race since January 30, when she won a Maiden Special Weight in an easy six-length romp at 6.5 furlongs at Delta. In the allowance, she was the 2.5-1 second choice. She dueled with the 3-5 favourite Welcome Aboard into the far turn; coming into the stretch Welcome Aboard began to pull away. Even though Curls For Girls tired a bit down the stretch, she had enough to dig in and cross the wire a length and a half ahead of third-place Winsky Alexandra.
- Fairness (No Fair, by War Chant) – On March 15, in her first race after breaking her maiden, Fairness finished 11th in an N1X allowance in a mile on the turf. The four-year-old filly, in her first race since breaking her maiden, set the pace early and held it going into the far turn. Once horses started to pass her, however, she faded quickly from first to last, finally crossing the wire 13 lengths behind Rock Hard Cat. At 56.6-1, she was the longest shot in the field. Her maiden win had been at a similar distance (a mile and seventy yards), but on the Sam Houston dirt. This was her first turf route attempt; she had tried turf once before, in a 5.5f maiden special weight at Fair Grounds in March of last year. In that race, she finished eighth, eight lengths back. I envision her staying at a route distance next time around, but reverting to the dirt.
- Jay Eye See (England’s Rose, by Nureyev) – On March 14, Jay Eye See finished 4th beaten 10 1/2 lengths in a $100,000 N3X Allowance Optional Claiming, at six and a half furlongs in the Gulfstream dirt. The longest shot in the field of five, he went off at 11.20-1. He broke slowly, got caught a bit wide, and lost ground down the stretch behind the three horses in front of him. Jay Eye See is a four-year-old colt who normally runs at Calder and Gulfstream, and was not in for the tag here.
- Liberated (Lady Melesi, by Colonial Affair) – On March 15, Liberated ran in the Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. I talked about her run in my weekend stakes recap, but in short, it wasn’t such a good time out for her. She finished 9th beaten 8 lengths, and was never really a factor in the race. It looked from her previous races that this may have been a bit much for her, both in class and in race length; unfortunately, there was nothing in this race to prove me wrong on either account. I’m hoping to see her back in allowance company next time out, and at a shorter distance.
- Oxford Babes (Spring Awakening, by In Excess (IRE)) – On March 15, Oxford Babes won a six furlong maiden special weight on the Turfway synthetic by 4 1/4 lengths. The 1-2 favourite, this four-year-old colt tracked the early leader from close up, not even a half a length back. He got his head in front of the leader, Proud English, with about three furlongs to go. Down the stretch, he had plenty left; a steady run carried him farther and farther away from the slightly fading Proud English. This was only his second career race, and his first since a third-place debut last August at Indiana Downs.
- Ride On Curlin (Magical Ride, by Storm Cat) – I’ll keep this short and sweet since I’ve already mentioned Ride On Curlin’s run March 15 in the Rebel Stakes twice here, both in the weekend stakes recap and again in this week’s fantasy stable update. He finished a hard-knocking Rebel Stakes third beaten just a length behind Hoppertunity and Tapiture, and is a credible candidate in his projected next race, the Arkansas Derby.
- Sheikinator (Im a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union) – On March 16, Sheikinator finished 5th, beaten 4 1/2 lengths, in a 1 1/16 mile N1X allowance for three-year-olds at Oaklawn. He entered this race off a three-month lay; his last out was a seventh place finish in the CashCall Futurity, 21 3/4 lengths behind the dynamite Shared Belief. Sheikinator settled near mid-pack early, lost a bit of ground through the far turn. He gained a bit back down the stretch, but didn’t have nearly enough kick coming home to threaten the lead. Still, it wasn’t a terrible race first off the lay, and hopefully he will race again to a better result next out.
- Shesacurlinmytoes (Cafe Concerto, by Trempolino) – On March 16, Shesacurlinmytoes finished 2nd, half a length behind Dublin Dancer, in a one-mile starter allowance for three-year-old fillies on the Golden Gate Fields all-weather track. This was her second race after breaking her maiden in a $20,000 maiden claimer at a mile on the GGF turf on January 3. She looked nervous in the gate, trying to jump a bit before the gates opened, but it looks like her jockey got her calmed before the gate sprung open. She settled near the back of the pack: in a closing position near the rail, though deeply back. Shesacurlinmytoes swung a bit wide into the stretch and fired just past the eighth pole, but that was just too late to be able to catch the winner. Still, it was a good race, and it shows some promise that she’ll be able to contend past the maiden level.
- Wise Minister (Take a Check, by Touch Gold) and Woelf Den (Gorgeous Goose, by Mongoose) – It sure didn’t take long since starting this feature for there to be a race with two Curlin colts running in it! In a 1 mile N1X allowance in the Laurel dirt, Woelf Den finished a hard-fighting 2nd beaten just half a length; Wise Minister was 4th, 9 1/2 lengths back from the winner. Woelf Den, breaking from the 1 gate, got the rail early and stalked a few lengths back. He gained through the far turn, and broke away along with Ground Control from the rest of the field near the quarter pole. They fought hard, and Woelf Den dug in gamely, but Ground Control just had a bit more left in the final strides. Wise Minister got a place mid-pack, but wasn’t able to make up any real ground. He didn’t have the greatest of trips; Maximus Decimus had a rein break down the backstretch, got a bit loose, and bumped into Wise Minister near the quarter pole.
- Bold Shot (Soul Search, by A.P. Indy) – Bold Shot is scheduled to run a $25,000-$20,000 claiming race on March 23, at about one mile on the Fair Grounds turf. The four-year-old colt breaks from the 4 gate in a field of 10, or of 12 if the race is moved from turf to dirt. He last raced at Fair Grounds on March 2, in a race under the same conditions, and finished 3rd beaten 2 1/2 lengths. That March 2 race was his tenth overall, and his first against winners.
- Case’s Ticket (Feels Like Friday, by Anet) – Case’s Ticket is scheduled to race in a Louisiana-bred maiden special weight at Fair Grounds on March 21st. It’s at a mile and seventy yards on the dirt, and he has the 3 post. This is only his third time racing. Last out (March 4) he finished third beaten 3 lengths in a race at Fair Grounds, under the same conditions.
- Jay Eye See (England’s Rose, by Nureyev) – Jay Eye See is scheduled to race March 23 in a $100,000 allowance optional claiming race at a mile on the Calder dirt. He drew the third gate in a field of six, and is not in for the tag. His last race (see his entry in Race Results, above) was under similar conditions last week at Gulfstream, though at a six and a half furlong distance. His most recent win, back in January, was at a mile in the Calder dirt.
- Blue Violet (Gasia, by Silver Deputy) – Blue Violet was scratched from a 1 1/16 mile allowance optional claiming (N2X) at Fair Grounds on Saturday, March 15. She was entered for the main track only, and the race wasn’t moved off the turf. Blue Violet, a four-year-old filly, last raced at Fair Grounds on January 23, winning an allowance optional claiming (N1X) by 2 3/4 lengths over Dreamglider.
- Diversy Harbor (Motokiks, by Storm Cat) – It seems like the China Doll winner is staying off the Oaks trail, and staying on the green stuff. Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm tweeted today that Diversy Harbor is pointing toward the GIII Providencia on April 5, at 1 1/8 miles on the Santa Anita turf.
That’s it for this week. If there’s a Curlin baby at any level of racing who you think I missed, leave a comment and let me know so I can add him to my list and cover him or her in future installments of this week in Curlin babies!