Curlin babies: stakes update

A full update on the Curlin babies is in the works, but this weekend there are several to keep an eye on who are racing in stakes races.

Miss Frost (Allencat, by Storm Cat) is the only Curlin baby racing in a graded event this weekend.  She is attempting to bounce back from her eighth-place finish in the Valley View (GIII) at Keeneland, and taking a swing in the Mrs. Revere (GII) at Churchill this afternoon.  The good news is that the course is rated firm today, so she should be getting the sort of surface she likes.  However, this is also the toughest field she has ever faced, and she has moved into the barn of trainer Neil Howard — who is 0 for his last 16 with horses starting first time for his barn.  Pacewise there is a lot of speed, but that should not pose a huge problem if new rider Robby Albarado can set her in and rate her, a style Miss Frost has successfully run in the past.  In short, Miss Frost is not in without a shot today, but she will have to run the race of her life to beat the likes of Testa Rossi, Lady Lara, and Sparkling Review.

In addition, two more Curlin babies are running in stakes company at Laurel today.

Lynx (Silver Bird, by Lit de Justice) dials back to seven furlongs for the City of Laurel Stakes.  Last out he beat older in an allowance at Parx; this time out, he shifts back to facing straight three-year-olds.  It will be interesting to see how he does on the turnback, as all of his wins have been in route races, and he has run well going as far as 1 3/16 miles in the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie earlier this year.  Still, his breeding (particularly the bottom side of that pedigree) suggests that seven furlongs should be right within his grasp, and he could be dangerous here at nice odds.

Bold Curlin (To the Brim, by Ascot Knight) heads postward for the Richard W. Small Stakes, run at a mile and a sixteenth in the dirt.  Two starts back, he won the Native Dancer Stakes at this very distance over the Laurel dirt; that race drew a similar class of runners as this one did.  He spent most of the year on the shelf, though, finally resurfacing in an allowance race at Laurel on October 11.  He stalked the pace early before fading to fourth, something not exactly surprising in light of the fact that it was his first race in nine months.  That race was also in the slop (his first start on an off track), so there is a chance he was not a fan of the surface.  Still, he has been on the board in every other start he has made at the Maryland oval.  Pacewise, there is a plethora of speed horses in the race.  Bold Curlin has won from on the front, or stalking fairly close to it.  The race looks fairly closer friendly; for Bold Curlin to have a chance, rider Victor Carrasco will have to be extra careful to keep him out of a fight on the front end.

Good luck to Miss Frost, Lynx, Bold Curlin, and all of the other Curlin babies!

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