This week’s update is a mini-update, mainly because I am on the road doing various non-racing-related things. Even that will find a way to bring me back to horse racing, since Saturday will involve a detour to Churchill Downs for the Homecoming Classic and the Jefferson Cup.
However, this does not mean that the Curlin babies stop running, and there are two racing in Breeders’ Cup preps this weekend:
- Danette (Sugar Britches, by Dixieland Band) – On September 27, Danette will race in the Chandelier Stakes (GI) at Santa Anita, run at a mile and a sixteenth over the dirt. The two-year-old filly drew the 3 gate in a field of 12. The race is a Win And You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and it is an ambitious task for Danette: she is still a maiden, and she has yet to race on dirt. She has raced four times, and her last two efforts have been her best to date. Last out she was beaten just a head by Maybelline, who will also be seeing the starter in the Chandelier. Majestic Presence, who won her race two back in which she was third, also runs in the Chandelier. All four of her races have been on polytrack to date, so she has a chance to get it together if she likes the dirt better. Fortunately, this does not look particularly stiff for a Grade I: there is one other maiden in the field, and only Sharla Rae has won more than one race. That said, she is still facing winners, and it would be terribly exciting if Danette managed to hit the board here.
- Moulin de Mougin (Cambiocorsa, by Avenue of Flags) – On September 27, Moulin de Mougin will race in the Rodeo Drive Stakes (GI) at Santa Anita, at a mile and a quarter on the grass. The four-year-old filly drew the 3 gate in a field of 14. She put it together in stakes company for the first time last out, with her win in the John C. Mabee (GII) at Del Mar. That was at a mile and an eighth; she stretches out to her longest test yet here. This season, she has found her stride going longer. According to trainer Richard Mandella, “I thought because of her mother she wanted to run six and a half on the turf, and it took me awhile to figure out she wants to go a mile and a eighth, a mile and a quarter on the turf, so the John Mabee kind of proved that out.” He also confirmed his ultimate goal for her is the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare turf. Her dam, Cambiocorsa, was a whiz on the downhill turf, but it does seem like Moulin de Mougin inherited her sire’s proclivity for going long. She is in good form this year; though she has been off for about a month and a half, she has been working long and Mandella tends to bring his runners ready off of layoffs. Though this is the biggest and the toughest field she has ever faced, she should be up to it in her current form.
Stay tuned for early next week, when there will be a full recap of all of the Curlin babies who races through the week and weekend!