Welcome to another installment of this week in Curlin babies: all the news that’s fit to print about Blinkers Off’s favourite sire. The highlights of this week include the first all-Curlin exacta that has been on my radar since this column started, which happened Friday night at Prairie Meadows, as well as a Curlin two-year-old who tied for topping Wednesday at the OBS sale of two-year-olds in training. This coming week features Maria Maria returning to the dirt, Socialbug making her first start outside California, and of course Ride On Curlin working toward the Kentucky Derby!
- Charlie A (Seresa’s Spirit, by Rahy) – On April 23, Charlie A finished 8th beaten 6 in an N1X allowance for three-year-old fillies, at a mile over the Keeneland turf. Despite her 13 post in a field of 14, she got up near the lead early, and got a nice place stalking just outside the early pacesetter, Somerville Miss. Somerville Miss faded through the far turn, and both eventual winner Sea Queen and Charlie A pulled ahead of her. She started to lose a little steam coming down the stretch, but lost all chance when she got pinched between two horses near the sixteenth pole and checked sharply back. This race was her first start away from Gulfstream; hopefully she gets a little better trip late next out.
- Curlin’s Kid (Lucette, by Dayjur) – On April 24, Curlin’s Kid finished 4th beaten 7 1/4 lengths in a $25,000/$20,000 maiden claimer at five furlongs on the Pimlico turf. He settled near the back early, seven or eight lengths off the lead. He never made a run at Unseen, the wire-to-wire winner, but was able to at least make up a few lengths on the front down the stretch, and pass enough tiring horses to come in for fourth. It was the three-year-old gelding’s first attempt on the turf. It was also his second attempt in claiming company, and his ninth career race.
- Jay Eye See (England’s Rose, by Nureyev) – On April 20, Jay Eye See finished 4th in a $62,500 N2X allowance optional claimer at 1 mile on the Gulfstream dirt, 7 1/4 lengths behind winner Kings Over. The four-year-old colt was up for the tag, but not claimed out of the race. He had a good stalking position through much of the race, and got up within a length of pacesetter Russian Greek coming into the far turn, but faded back late. This was Jay Eye See’s seventh start of the year, all of which have been in Florida (at either Gulfstream or Calder), and all but one of which have been in AOC-level races.
- Liberated (Lady Melesi, by Colonial Affair) – On April 18, Liberated finished 8th beaten 3 lengths in an N2X allowance at Keeneland, at 1 1/16 miles over the synthetic. The four-year-old filly was in mid-pack early, but made a move down the backstretch and into the far turn to get her up within a length of the lead. She couldn’t quite sustain the run late, though, and lost ground to most of the field down the stretch. This was her first race back since her run in the Wayward Lass Stakes, where she was 9th beaten 8 lengths. She seems to perform better at a bit shorter distances, such as a mile instead of a mile and a sixteenth. I’d be interested to see her out in something a shade shorter next time out.
- Moulin de Mougin (Cambiocorsa, by Avenue of Flags) – On April 20, Moulin de Mougin finished 4th beaten 13 1/2 lengths in the Santa Lucia Stakes, at 1 1/16 miles on the Santa Anita dirt. She got in a decent position, chasing Legacy and Beholder from two or three lengths back, and could sustain that into the far turn. However, she weakened late, and lost ground as Beholder pulled away. This wasn’t her first time in stakes company, but she has never been able to hit the board in three attempts at the level so far. Most of her races have been on turf, as well; I would not be surprised to see her back on the green next time.
- Sheriff Curly (Love You Madly, by Partner’s Hero) and Whisper to Curlin (Whisperifyoudare, by Red Ransom) – Both Sheriff Curly and Whisper to Curlin took part April 18 in a maiden special weight at 1 mile and 70 yards over the Prairie Meadows dirt, and filled out a nice all-Curlin exacta. Whisper to Curlin took the early lead, with Sheriff Curly stalking close behind along the rail. Whisper to Curlin dueled with Bristol Rover (who you may remember as my pick in a maiden claimer at Oaklawn when I did the Dudes Challenge a few weeks ago) on the front end. Whisper to Curlin easily had more left than Bristol Rover, though Sheriff Curly then made his move between those two when the field turned for home. The two three-year-old Curlin colts opened way up on the rest of the field, but Sheriff Curly had a bit more late. He crossed the wire first, just 3/4 length in front of Whisper to Curlin. It was quite the emphatic exacta of Curlin babies, though, as Whisper to Curlin finished 7 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Denali Tiz a Park. Congratulations, Sheriff Curly, on graduating in your fourth career start — and Whisper to Curlin, you’ll make it next time, in your fifth!
- Slip By (Fortune Pending, by Fortunate Prospect) – On April 24, Slip By finished 3rd beaten 3 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight at 1 1/8 miles over the Keeneland turf. The three-year-old colt was in a good chasing place early, about three lengths back on the outside. He made a run at the lead once the field turned for home, and closed up about a length of the distance, but flattened out a bit. He ultimately wasn’t able to challenge winner Stroll to Victory, or repel the closing run of Hines. This was just Slip By’s fourth career race, and his first anywhere other than Gulfstream. It was also his first on turf, which suggests that we may see him on turf again his next time out given how he handled it here.
- Starfire Mist (Misty Lady (ARG), by Lucky Roberto) – On April 20, Starfire Mist finished 5th beaten 7 1/4 lengths in a maiden special weight, five and a half furlongs over the Golden Gate Fields synthetic. She settled near the back of the pack early, had a decent position along the rail turning for home, but was unable to fire and make a run at frontrunning winner Doctor Glynis. This was only the four-year-old filly’s second start; she was seventh at this level and distance on March 28.
- Curlin’s Gold (Harlow Gold, by Orientate) – On April 26, Curlin’s Gold will race in a $50,000 allowance optional claiming race, at six furlongs over the Calder dirt. Her last time out, on February 28, she won a six furlong maiden special weight over the Calder dirt; this maiden win was her fifth career start. What is a bit odd about this is that even though she fits the N2L condition, she will be up for the $50,000 tag. It won’t be her first time in a claiming race, since one of her maiden attempts was in a $75,000 maiden claimer at Gulfstream, but it just seems strange since she does actually fit the allowance condition.
- J to the Croft (A to the Croft, by Menifee) – On April 25, J to the Croft makes his first start against winners. He drew the 7 gate in a $75,000 allowance optional claiming race at Aqueduct, 1 1/6 miles over the turf. The three-year-old colt is not up for the tag; he qualifies under the N2L allowance condition. If the race stays on the turf he is the outermost horse, though there are three who would start outside of him if the race is moved to a mile on the main track. This will be his second career start, though his first on turf, and his first at a route. On April 2, he broke his maiden at six furlongs on the Aqueduct dirt, in his first start.
- Maria Maria (Hollow Miss, by With Approval) – On April 26, Maria Maria is slated to run the Goldfinch Stakes at Prairie Meadows, at six furlongs on the dirt. She drew the 8 gate in the nine-horse field. This is her first start after scratching out of the Appalachian Stakes (GIII) at Keeneland last week. Her last time out was in a one-mile turf allowance against males at Tampa Bay on March 8, where she finished third beaten 3 1/4 lengths behind Bobby’s Kitten. Her last time on dirt was her fourth-place finish in the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay; her only win on the dirt was in an allowance optional claiming race at this distance last October at Hawthorne.
- Socialbug (Candytuft, by Dehere) – Socialbug drew the 2 gate in an April 26 N3x/N4L allowance optional claimer at six furlongs over the Churchill Downs dirt. The field consists of six horses, none of whom are in for the tag ($80,000). This is her first start since an allowance win at Santa Anita on March 1, at six furlongs over a wet fast (sealed) track. This will also be her first start outside of southern California; all of her previous races have been at either Santa Anita or Del Mar.
- Ride On Curlin (Magical Ride, by Storm Cat) – Time is growing short before the Kentucky Derby, and Ride On Curlin is preparing. He isn’t slated to hit the formal worktab until Saturday or Sunday, but he has been galloping around the track and looking pretty fabulous as he does so. He has been at Churchill since right after the Arkansas Derby, and has also raced there thrice before — all of which bodes well for his ability to get comfortable with the track.
- OBS Spring Sale — This week, five two-year-olds by Curlin were listed for the OBS spring sale of two-year-olds in training:
- Unnamed filly out of Judith Basin (by Danzig) – She did not breeze in the under tack show, and was declared out of the sale.
- Unnamed colt out of Silent Eskimo (by Eskimo) – On April 23, this colt went for $700,000 — tying for top price of the sale, with a Bernardini colt out of Tarlow (by Stormin Fever). He was purchased by David Shimmon’s Fog City Stable, likely best recognized nowadays as owners of the lovable (though less-than-stable) Tap It Rich. He had breezed a furlong in 10.0 under tack. This colt has a three-year-old full sister named Bonnie’s Curl, who is so far unraced.
- Unnamed colt out of Broad Smile (by Broad Brush) – On April 24, this colt went for $310,000 to Calumet Farm. He was consigned by Niall Brennan Stables. In the under tack show, he breezed a furlong in 10.3.
- Unnamed filly by Casablanca Babe (by Horse Chestnut (SAF)) – On April 24, this filly went for $85,000. Michael Machowsky was the agent who signed the ticket; she was consigned by Mayberry Farm. During the under tack show, she went one furlong in 10.2.
- Unnamed colt by Delta Rhythm (by A. P. Indy) – On April 27, this colt was an RNA at $87,000. He was consigned by Stephens Thoroughbreds. At the under tack portion, he breezed a furlong in 10.3. He has a so far unraced three-year-old full sister named Delta Ru.
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 them to my list and cover them in future installments of this week in Curlin babies!