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 Curlin babies have been burning up the track this year: this week, Curlin surpassed $4,000,000 in progeny earnings for 2014. He is the leading third-crop sire in earnings. Even without the earnings of Palace Malice, winner of four graded stakes this year, Curlin would still top the third-crop sire list with over half a million dollars more than second-place Midnight Lute. He is also a heavy hitter on this year’s general sire list, trailing only Tapit, Medaglia d’Oro, Speightstown, and Tiznow.
The highlights begin overseas this week: in Russia’s richest horse race, the President’s Cup, it was Lucky First first and the rest nowhere. Maria Maria also got back on the winning track, taking down an allowance at Arlington this week. This week, Lady of Luck makes another New Mexico stakes attempt, heading postward in the Zenyatta Stakes at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday. Also, there is another race this week with two Curlin babies in it: Blisstering Strike and Julie Napp go head-to-head in a maiden race at Belmont.
Without further ado, let’s see what everyone has been up to!
- Barbara’s Smile (Credenza, by Lord Carlos) – On June 18, Barbara’s Smile finished seventh in a $40,000 starter allowance at a mile over the Belmont turf, beaten 23 1/4 lengths. The three-year-old filly was in her first start against winners, having won a $40,000 maiden claiming race at first asking on May 3. She closed to win last time; this time, she was back early, but just didn’t fire. The fractions in this race were faster than those of her maiden win, so she really didn’t have the excuse that there wasn’t anything she could close into. Hopefully she came out of this race okay, and has a better outing next time.
- Blue Violet (Gasia, by Silver Deputy), Flash Forward (Magical Flash, by Miswaki) – On June 14, both Blue Violet and Flash Forward raced in the Obeah Stakes (GIII) at 1 1/8 miles over the Delaware Park dirt. Blue Violet got a good spot along the rail early, stalked about a length or two off Daydreamin Gracie’s relatively slow early fractions, but couldn’t keep up when the midpack and closing horses moved in through the far turn. The four-year-old filly faded out of contention and finished seventh, 10 1/2 lengths behind winner Gamay Noir. I had been hoping to see a bit better performance from her after her second-place finish in the Winter Melody last out, but knew this was a significant jump in class from what she had been facing. Flash Forward stalked on the outside about two lengths back, and looked in the far turn like she was trying to make a move. However, the four-year-old filly didn’t have nearly as much late run as Gamay Noir or second-place Montana Native, and finished fifth beaten 5 1/4 lengths. This was Flash Forward’s first off-the-board finish this year; I was expecting a bit better given the company she has been able to hang with, but this was also her first race in over two months. Hopefully she will be sharper next out.
- Charismata (Jack’s Little Girl, by Broad Brush), Timeless Pleasure (Salty Sal, by Cox’s Ridge) – On June 14, Charismata and Timeless Pleasure both raced in an N1X allowance optional claimer for three-year-old fillies at six and a half furlongs over the Emerald Downs dirt. They both ran under the allowance condition. Three of the five horses (Lexie Arleen, Find Your Spot, and Avadiva) started right up on the front, and Charismata stalked about two lengths off down the backstretch. She made a wide move around them through the turn, and moved well all the way to the finish. However, it was not quite enough to equal how well odds-on favourite Find Your Spot kicked away; Charismata finished second, 1 1/4 lengths behind. This was an improvement from her last out, and I would expect to see her come back in a similar condition next out. She was still 2 3/4 lengths clear of third-place Avadiva. Timeless Pleasure trailed throughout. She was about five lengths back down the backstretch, angled out coming out of the far turn, but unable to make a move. She finished fifth and last, 6 1/4 lengths behind the winner. This was her first start against winners; last out, she broke her maiden in a maiden optional claiming field. I would expect her connections (who she has in common with the undefeated Curlin filly Stopshoppingdebbie) to give her at least one more chance in a similar level before dropping her down.
- Curlins B F F (Najecam, by Trempolino) – On June 19, Curlins B F F finished eighth beaten 4 lengths in $25,000-$20,000 maiden claiming race at six furlongs over the Lone Star turf. She ran for the higher tag. This was the three-year-old filly’s second career start — but her first since October, and her first in claiming company. She chased near the back of the pack down the backstretch, about five lengths off the lead. She lost a bit of ground through the far turn, and had enough late to gain some of it back, but she was midpack the whole way. She never quite threatened the leaders, or even the horses who hit the board. Still, it wasn’t a bad effort first off the lay. Curlins B F F did have some run late, and was only beaten four lengths all told. This looks like a good level for her, and it would make sense to see her back at this level next out.
- Danette (Sugar Britches, by Dixieland Band) – On June 19, Danette finished seventh beaten 11 3/4 lengths in a five-furlong baby race over the Arlington polytrack. The two-year-old filly was near the back of the pack early, and caught wide on the turn. Favourite Heat Transfer, the odds-on Larry Rivelli chalk, led the field on a merry chase from wire to wire. Danette didn’t fade badly, but didn’t muster a real challenge either. This was still only her first race; she has room to improve.
- Fireball Merlin (Princess Ruckus, by Bold Ruckus) – On June 18, Fireball Merlin finished fifth beaten 5 1/4 lengths in a five furlong maiden special weight over the Woodbine synthetic. The three-year-old colt was in his fourth race, and his third at Woodbine. This was a cut back in distance; his last two attempts were both at seven furlongs, and both off the board. This time around, he bumped into Supersizer at the break, and the two trailed the field by about five lengths down the backstretch and through the turn. He did not fade down the stretch, but he never kicked in enough to challenge pacesetter Sundowner, who led the field on a merry chase and resisted the late charge of favourite Bear’s Profit to win. Fireball Merlin raced in tandem with Supersizer, the horse he bumped; it was Supersizer who won the show photo by a head. This was better than his last showing, suggesting that he may want to stick with these shorter sprints. However, he hasn’t tried anything past seven furlongs yet; it may be interesting to see what happens if they try that, given that he does have one half-sibling who is a winner at route distances, I Want You To Know.
- French Press (Frisk Her, by Officer) – On June 19, French Press finished fifth beaten six lengths in an N1X allowance at six and a half furlongs over the Churchill dirt. This was the three-year-old filly’s second race; first out, on the Oaks undercard, she was a visually impressive maiden special weight winner. This time around, she broke from the rail, and was off a step slow. She did make up some ground going into the far turn, getting within two or three lengths, but had nowhere to go through the far turn. By the time a hole opened up in early stretch, she couldn’t muster a run through it, and faded back to fifth behind strongly closing winner My Christini. Hopefully a bit more race experience, and maybe a little better post position, will help her pass this condition next out.
- Inspired By Grace (Harve de Grace, by Boston Harbor) – On June 18, Inspired By Grace finished seventh beaten 7 3/4 in an N1X allowance optional claiming race at seven furlongs on the Belmont turf. The three-year-old filly raced under the allowance condition. It was her fourth career start, and her first since breaking her maiden at Pimlico on May 31. She got near the lead almost immediately. It looked then like jockey Kendrick Carmouche took her back off of pacesetter Knacque, but she shot back out almost immediately to stalk at her flank. She stayed up there until the field turned for home, but couldn’t keep up as the rest of the field made their runs. She faded back, and finished seventh of eight in the field. This looks like an experience issue; hopefully Inspired By Grace will take direction a little better, as she continues to race.
- Jay Eye See (England’s Rose, by Nureyev) – On June 14, Jay Eye See finished second beaten 1/2 length in a $50,000-$40,000 claiming race at 1 mile 70 yards over the Monmouth dirt. This was the four-year-old colt’s first attempt in pure claiming company, and he was up for the higher tag. He was stalking a length and a half back early, but started to engage near the half-mile pole. He got to the lead near the quarter pole, and was a couple of lengths ahead in early stretch. He continued gamely, but couldn’t hold off the late charge of Start Jumping. He performed well enough in this race to suggest this is the right level for him at this point; it’s good to see him step back against easier company, after having seen him in so many allowances that were a bit over his head this year.
- Keening (Haka Girl, by War Chant) – On June 13, Keening won an N1X allowance at a mile over the Churchill Downs turf by 2 1/2 lengths. She was content to chase near the back of the pack early, about half a dozen lengths back near the rail. She started closing up ground approaching the far turn, and made a big move to circle outside the field through the far turn. She got her head in front turning for home, and gradually increased the lead through the stretch run. The four-year-old filly has been on the board in six of her eight previous starts, the only two exceptions being her first one and an attempt at the Mrs. Revere Stakes (GII) last November. She hadn’t closed the deal since her maiden win last June, and it was good to see her remember how to win.
- Lucky First (Dragon Fly (FR), by Sadler’s Wells) – On June 11, Lucky First won Russia’s most lucrative race, the President of the Russian Federation Stakes (President’s Cup) at 2,400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) over the Central Moscow Hippodrome dirt. The four-year-old colt broke a little slowly, but soon found his stride and settled in on the outside, chasing about three lengths off the pace. The pacesetter extended that lead to about half a dozen at one point, but Lucky First came charging through the second half of the clubhouse turn to close up that ground and leave him in the dust. By the time they approached the far turn for the second time (the race began halfway through the backstretch), it was Lucky First alone on the lead: six, eight, ten lengths ahead. Despite swinging out very wide out of the far turn and into the stretch, he gave the rest of the field no chance, and crossed the wire a good fifteen lengths in front of the field. He won that race for fun.
- Lynx (Silver Bird, by Lit de Justice) – On June 15, Lynx finished third in the Pegasus Stakes (GIII) at 1 1/16 miles over the Monmouth Park dirt, beaten 12 3/4 lengths. Lynx had broken his maiden last out, on May 25th; this was his first race against winners, and his first in stakes company. He faced a short field of five, after the scratches of Uncle Sigh and Allstar. Lynx settled with Wildcatpleasures near the back of the pack early, about half a dozen lengths off of Ring Weekend’s early fractions. Approaching the far turn, it looked like he was starting to close up ground. He passed the tiring Ring Weekend, but was unable to match the late energy of either much-the-best winner Albano or second-place Encryption. He looked on paper to be in pretty well over his head here, and despite his on-the-board finish, that preliminary assessment still seems correct. He was one of only four horses to finish, since 7/5 second-choice Ring Weekend pulled up down the stretch. I am hoping that he turns up in allowance company next out, something a little more commensurate with his performance.
- Maria Maria (Hollow Miss, by With Approval) – On June 19, Maria Maria won an N2X allowance optional claiming race at a mile over the Arlington polytrack. The three-year-old filly, like every horse in the field, raced under the allowance condition. She had been cross-entered in both this and the Northbound Pride Oaks at Canterbury on June 15, but after that race was washed off the turf, her trainer scratched her from that race and ran her in this one instead. It turned out to be a wise move. Maria Maria settled midpack early in the one-turn mile, and was content to chase about three lengths back all the way into the stretch. She angled outside near the three-sixteenths pole, came charging in, and just caught Zubi Zubi Zu a few strides from home. This was her fifth start as a three-year-old, and her first win since an allowance win at Hawthorne in October. It was a good sign to see her win again, and to do so against older company.
- Miss Curley d’Oro (Hug It Out, by Medaglia d’Oro) – On June 19, Miss Curley d’Oro finished seventh beaten 19 1/2 lengths in a seven-furlong maiden special weight in the Evangeline Downs dirt. This was the three-year-old filly’s second start; on May 17, she finished seventh in a five-furlong turf MSW at the same level at Evangeline. She broke well, briefly challenged early leader Ravin Rebel, and settled back about a length and a half coming down the backstretch. She started fading, though, into the far turn. She didn’t have another run, and her jockey wisely stopped asking coming down the stretch. She still has room for improvement, as this was her second start, but it may be worth trying a different distance, or stepping down in class soon.
- Rebel Spy (Private Status, by Alydar), Sunset District (America America, by Mister Baileys (GB)) – On June 15, Rebel Spy and Sunset District both raced in a maiden special weight at 1 mile 70 yards over the Monmouth dirt. Rebel Spy, a four-year-old gelding, was starting for the fifth time, and his first at Monmouth. He was caught four wide (in a field of six) going into the clubhouse turn, chased about half a dozen lengths back down the backstretch, and never quite put together a run. He steadily lost ground, and finished fifth beaten 19 lengths behind winner Irish You Well. Hopefully, Rebel Spy’s trainers try something different soon; after five MSW starts on the dirt in which he has never looked like a winner (or finished better than third), it seems like he needs something to change in order to get started. Sunset District, a three-year-old colt in just his second career race, fared a bit better. He stalked just outside on early pacesetter Padre Graz early, and stayed near the pace. Irish You Well, who had been stalking just off him in third, fired huge through the far turn; Sunset District was unable to keep pace. He stayed engaged in a battle for second with Padre Graz, and prevailed for the show: 7 1/2 lengths behind the multiple graded stakes placed Irish You Well, but still a length in front of Padre Graz. It was not a bad second attempt; hopefully he puts it together next out.
- Sir Nicholas (Emily Ring, by Fit to Fight) – On June 19, Sir Nicholas finished fourth beaten 6 1/4 lengths in a $25,000 maiden claiming race at a mile and an eighth over the Churchill Downs turf. He was claimed out of the race; he moves from the barn of David Carroll to the barn of Jeff Barkley. He broke well, but ran down the middle of the track early due to his outside gate. He cut in to the rail coming around the clubhouse turn, and was head and head with pacesetter Malibu Springs there and through the far turn. He had no kick down the stretch, though; Malibu Springs and eventual winner Danzig Gold pulled away while Sir Nicholas faded to fourth. This race was half a furlong longer than his debut race; after his late fade here, it would not be a shock to see Sir Nicholas cut back to a mile or 1 1/16 miles next out.
- Starfire Mist (Misty Lady (ARG), by Lucky Roberto) – On June 15, Starfire Mist broke her maiden, winning a $20,000-$18,000 maiden claimer at 1 1/16 miles over the Golden Gate Fields turf. This was the four-year-old filly’s fourth career start, and her first on the drop to a claimer. She was up for the higher tag, as was the whole field. She settled in along the rail early, two or three lengths behind the pace set by Ten in Excess, and then started to eat up ground as the field came around the far turn. She swung outside of Ten in Excess and Cleverly Beverly on the stretch, and overtook the latter in the final sixteenth to prevail by a length. It was nice to see her put in such a good race: she rain well, the trip worked out, and she graduated.
- Sylvia T (Brisquette, by Unbridled’s Song) – On June 15, Sylvia T finished second beaten 2 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight at a mile over the Belmont turf. The four-year-old half-sister to Medal Count finished behind another famous half-sibling: Crown Queen, the three-year-old half-sister to Royal Delta. She broke well, got to the front by about a length, and set some soft early fractions. J. Quirk and Crown Queen were stalking behind her, and both made their moves as the field turned for h0me. The former couldn’t quite complete the move. Crown Queen found her next gear, and kicked away from Sylvia T in the final furlong. She had enough left to finish a strong second, 1 1/4 behind the beaten favourite Forensic. She is now a twelve-race maiden, but this was a somewhat encouraging sign: clearly the best run she has put in during her four-year-old year.
- Texas Ryano (Blending Element (IRE), by Great Commotion) – On June 13, Texas Ryano came back from a four-month lay to win an N1X allowance optional claiming race at 1 1/8 miles over the Santa Anita turf. Texas Ryano, as everyone in the field, was in under the allowance condition. He was not hurried early, and content to run eight or nine lengths off the relatively snappy (given the distance) fractions set early by Brother Soldier. He started to close the distance approaching the far turn, but was still last as the field turned for home, three or four lengths back. Quotient had overtaken Brother Soldier on the far turn, and was beginning to open up on the field by then. Texas Ryano fired in a big way, though, and made a furious closing run. He collared Quotient in the final sixteenth, and won it by 3/4 length. Quotient held for second. He did not look in any obvious distress late, though he did tire out down the stretch. Once the race was over, Quotient was vanned off. There has not been any news or public statement yet about what happened or how he has doing. This is not to detract from Texas Ryano’s race, though: whether he won or fell just shy, it was an extremely sharp race first off the lay, and the graded stakes-placed Quotient is a serious race horse. Hopefully Quotient comes out of this okay, and maybe he and Texas Ryano can do battle on the turf once more.
- Whisper to Curlin (Whisperifyoudare, by Red Ransom) – On June 19, Whisper to Curlin finished third beaten 7 1/4 lengths in an N1X allowance at 1 mile 70 yards over the Prairie Meadows dirt. This was the three-year-old colt’s first attempt against winners; he broke his maiden at the Iowa oval last out, in his sixth career start. He was midpack early, but made up distance down the backstretch, and was less than a length off the lead as the field approached the stretch. However, No Time Limit turned on the afterburners down the straightaway, and took command to win by 7. Whisper To Curlin matched strides with Ooey Gooey late, but that kept his rival a neck ahead in second. He did not run poorly given that it was his first attempt over a sloppy, sealed track, but he definitely didn’t run like the 7/10 favourite the bettors made him. He may handle his second start against winners better, especially if the track is in better condition.
- Wise Minister (Take a Check, by Touch Gold) – On June 16, Wise Minister finished third beaten 1 3/4 lengths in an N1X/N2L allowance over the Parx dirt. He settled near the back of the pack early, about four lengths off the lead. He broke from the rail, and stayed along there to save ground. He started improving his position as the field approached the far turn, and had plenty of room along the rail to run. However, he wasn’t quite able to get far enough up to engage Cousin Stephen, who was in for his first race back since the Tampa Bay Derby. Cousin Stephen won a photo by a scant noseover M J Plus for the win, but Wise Minister ran with enough energy to hold the show by 3/4 length over Graybignbadlikedad. Last out, Wise Minister won in state-bred N1X company, and he handled a step back up to open allowance company well. Interestingly, he performed this well despite being totally dead on the board: he was 6/1 on the morning like, but had dropped like a rock to 22/1 by the time the gates sprung open. Obviously he didn’t know this, and he ran a good, ground-saving race.
- Blisstering Strike (Brief Bliss, by Navarone) – On June 22, Blisstering Strike races in a $75,000 maiden claimer at six furlongs over the Belmont dirt. She drew the outermost gate in a six-horse field that includes another Curlin baby, Julie Napp. The three-year-old filly races for the second time, and her first at a claiming level. Last out, she finished sixth and last in a maiden special at six and a half furlongs over the Belmont dirt. She has been training well leading into this race; the drop in class should make her more competitive.
- Captured (Alluring, by A. P. Indy) – On June 20, Captured will race in a $20,000 claiming race at 1 1/16 miles over the Monmouth turf. The three-year-old gelding drew the 9 post in a field of ten. This will be Captured’s fourth career start. He broke his maiden last out, in a $25,000-$20,000 maiden claimer on April 5 in the Pimlico dirt. The race had originally been scheduled for the turf, but was washed off. It is interesting to see him go back to turf, since he broke his maiden on the dirt. His first two attempts, in which he finished off the board, were both sprints; he won his first dirt route. With names like Curlin and A. P. Indy in his pedigree, it seems like dirt routes would be his thing. Hopefully he takes to the turf well on Friday, though; this should open up racing options for him.
- Copperplate (Verdana Bold, by Rahy) – On June 21, Copperplate makes his career debut at Churchill Downs, in a maiden special weight at five furlongs over the turf. He drew the 9 gate in a twelve-horse field. The three-year-old colt has been working over the Churchill dirt all spring, and his last three have been at the same five-furlong distance as this race. Copperplate is the first named foal out of his dam, Verdana Bold. Verdana Bold did break her maiden over the Laurel turf, but was a graded stakes winner over the polytrack, and did most of her racing over poly at Woodbine.
- Curlin’s Gem (A Little Gem, by Yonaguska) – On June 22, Curlin’s Gem races in a maiden special weight at seven furlongs on the Woodbine synthetic. The three-year-old filly drew the 7 post in the 11-horse field. She has only raced once before, a fifth-place finish in a six-furlong MSW at Gulfstream in March. It is hard to tell how she will do here; last out she didn’t fade badly at the six-furlong distance, but didn’t make a move either. Hopefully that bit of racing experience will help her improve here.
- Fairness (No Fair, by War Chant) – On June 21, Fairness races in an N1X/N2L allowance at about seven and a half furlongs over the Louisiana Downs turf. She breaks from the 4 gate; the field contains ten horses, plus two also eligible. The four-year-old filly enters this race from a second place finish, beaten just half a length, in an N2L allowance at seven furlongs over the Louisiana Downs dirt. This will be her fourth try over turf, and her second turf start at this track. Two starts ago, she finished third beaten 1 1/4 lengths in an N1X allowance at a mile over the Louisiana Downs turf. She was well beaten in her other two starts, a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds and an allowance at Fair Grounds, but it appears the class level and surface are more to her liking here.
- Julie Napp (Garden District, by Dixie Union) – On June 22, Julie Napp races in a $75,000 maiden claiming race at six furlongs over the Belmont dirt. The three-year-old filly drew the 3 gate in a field of six, a group which includes fellow Curlin baby Blisstering Strike. This will be her first time dropping in for a tag after six 0ff-the-board attempts in maiden special weight company. Three of those have been fourth-place finishes, but she has never finished closer than 6 1/2 lengths from the front. Taking the class drop seems wise here.
- Lady of Luck (Lunarlady, by Yes It’s True) – On June 22, Lady of Luck will race in the Zenyatta Stakes at seven and a half furlongs over the Ruidoso Downs dirt. She drew the 3 gate in a seven-horse field. The four-year-old filly is not yet stakes-placed, but has finished fourth in her last two outings: the Czaria Stakes at Sunland, and the First Lady Handicap at Ruidoso. Those starts were at six furlongs; she stretches out here, and stretches past the longest distance at which she has won (six and a half furlongs). She has hit the board in longer races, though, suggesting the distance should not be a problem for her.
- Lin Marie (Coy Cat, by Hold That Tiger) – On June 20, Lin Marie races in a maiden special weight at six furlongs over the Penn National dirt. She drew the rail in a seven-horse field. This will only be the three-year-old filly’s second career start. On May 11, she finished third beaten 8 3/4 lengths in a six-furlong maiden special at Pimlico. It was a decent performance for a first start, though: though she started a bit slow, she ran well late, and her closing run only put her 3/4 lengths out of second place. Especially if there ends up being a good amount of speed on the front end, she should have a good shot to run better here.
- Lord of the Realm (Danceroftherealm (IGB), by King of Kings (IRE)) – On June 22, Lord of the Realm races in a $7,500 claiming race at six furlongs in the Fort Erie dirt. The four-year-old colt drew the outermost post of seven. He raced at Fort Erie for the first time last out, finishing second at a mile and seventy yards for a $4,750 tag. That was his only time hitting the board other than his win, which was at seven furlongs on the Woodbine poly at maiden $12,500. I was not expecting him to cut distance and go up in class here; it seemed like that $5,000-$4,750 level may have suited him last out. Hopefully I will be proven wrong here.
- Mike the Hab (Hightshift, by St. Jovite) – On June 20, Mike the Hab heads postward in a $20,000-$19,000 maiden claimer at 1 1/16 miles on the polytrack at Woodbine. The three year old colt drew the outside in a field of nine, and races for the higher tag. Last out, in his fifth start, he finished on the board for the first time: a third-place finish, beaten just 1 1/4 lengths, at the $25,000-$23,500 level. This looks like a good chance for him to graduate: the last race was at the same distance and track, he drops in class here, and his off-the-pace style suggests the 9 post may not be terrible for him.
- Skydeck (Thiscatsforcaryl, by Storm Cat) – On June 21, Skydeck races in a $40,000-$35,000 maiden claiming race at six furlongs over the Churchill Downs dirt. The three-year-old filly drew the 2 gate in the field of six, and races for the higher tag (as does the whole field). Last out, she finished fourth in a maiden special weight at this distance over the Arlington polytrack. She has raced once for a tag before; two starts back, she finished second by a head behind long shot First Freedom in a six furlong $20,000 maiden race at Keeneland. This was when she was claimed into the Wayne Catalano barn. She has also always raced on poly; this start will be her first in the dirt. Her pedigree suggests enough dirt prowess, though, that trying her there seems a wise move.
- Tres Hermanas (Pretty Meadow, by Meadowlake) – On June 21, Tres Hermanas races in an N1X/N2L $25,000 allowance optional claiming race at 1 1/16 miles over the Gulfstream turf. Despite the fact that she fits the N2L condition, the three-year-old filly is in for the tag. This race is her three-year-old debut. She raced twice at two: a 1 1/2 length win in a $65,000 maiden claiming race at Belmont last October, and a seventh-place finish in an N1X AOC at Gulfstream where also, despite fitting the allowance condition, she was up for the $75,000 tag. In that raced, she faced far tougher, including 2014 Beaumont Stakes (GII) winner Ready To Act. She does drop to easier company here than she faced in her last start, and runs at the distance at which she broke her maiden, so hopefully this will be a good place to return from her long winter lay.
- Maria Maria (Hollow Miss, by With Approval) – On June 15, Maria Maria scratched from the Northbound Pride Oaks at Canterbury. The official reason was listed as a steward scratch. However, races were taken off the turf that day at Canterbury, so that likely had to do with it. Maria Maria was one of five scratches from the race. She was reentered in an allowance optional claiming race at Arlington on June 19 (discussed above), which she won.
- Ride On Curlin (Magical Ride, by Storm Cat) – Ride On Curlin is taking a well-deserved break. He is hanging out at WinStar Farm and working lightly this week. Though, the plans are to return him to the track fairly soon, though; his connections are looking at the Haskell, which is on July 27. That seems a little short to return after such a long campaign, and I’m hoping he gets the rest he needs before coming back to race.
- Shiva Curlin (Cavan Thunder, by Jump Start) – On June 13, Shiva Curlin had been slated to race in an N2X allowance optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles over the Gulfstream dirt. However, he was a veterinarian scratch from the race. He returned to the worktab on June 15, though, going four furlongs over the Calder dirt in 48.20: second of seventeen at the distance.
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 or send me an email and let me know so I can add them to my list and cover them in future installments of this week in Curlin babies!