Curlin babies updates have been moved to Mondays instead of Thursdays, both in order to accommodate weekend race previews and to be a bit more timely in doing weekend race recaps. Of course, the Curlin babies race all week, but more of them tend to run on the weekends. Still, Blinkers Off will be providing mid-week updates when there are Curlin babies running in graded stakes company, or when big news about them comes out.
Today, Miss Frost (Allencat, by Storm Cat) ventures to Keeneland for the Valley View Stakes (GIII), run at a mile and a sixteenth on Keeneland turf that has just been upgraded to good, from yielding. She is coming into this race on a three-race win streak: a July allowance at Belmont, and then both the Tenski Stakes and the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga. This will be her first attempt in graded stakes company, and her first career race at any track other than Belmont or Saratoga. (It will not be her first graded stakes attempt; she was eighth in last year’s Grade III Miss Grillo Stakes) Hopefully, she handles the softer ground — that is a question, since she has finished no better than third over ground rated good, and never tried ground rated any softer than good. The fact that trainer Tom Albertrani did not scratch her from the Valley View suggests he thinks well of her condition.
On Sunday, Thats Our Princess (Princess Ruckus, by Bold Ruckus) races in the Ontario Fashion Stakes (GIII – CAN). The race is six furlongs on the polytrack: a distance that has agreed with Thats Our Princess to date, as she is 4-2-2-0 at six panels over the main. One of those wins was on dirt; the other win and two seconds were on the polytrack at Woodbine. That said, this seems an ambitious placing for her, to say the least. In three starts this year, she has two thirds and a sixth. The best of those was in her only start over the poly this year, going seven furlongs, in which she yielded late to fellow Curlin baby Theogony. The cutback to six should help her, but the fact that she is stepping up to graded company instead of trying an allowance at the distance is a bit baffling, especially since her speed figures are markedly low for the field. Hopefully she improves with the cutback, but she may be a bit outclassed here.
Good luck to Miss Frost, Thats Our Princess, and all the other Curlin babies; Blinkers Off will be back with a full update on Monday!