Less than a week after Palace Malice got settled in over at Three Chimneys, there has been another bit of news related to Curlin babies, though this relates less to existing ones than to new ones.
Current stallions Midnight Lute and Stormy Atlantic are long proven, but much of the farm’s fame and much of their roster tie with younger, unproven sires. Medaglia d’Oro and Candy Ride started at Hill ‘n Dale, but moved elsewhere. Many of their current stallions do not have crops on the track yet: Atreides, Flashback, New Year’s Day, Power Broker, Violence. At first blush it seems an interesting move to see a proven stallion like Curlin go there, since so much of Hill ‘n’ Dale’s roster consists of horses less proven at stud.
However, the writing was on the wall. In May, when bids were taken for Midnight Cry’s 20% share in Curlin, Hill ‘n’ Dale was part of the winning bidding interest. Hill ‘n’ Dale and Elevage II (an interest likely connected to Hill ‘n’ Dale, as it listed the same address) paid $6,218,160 for the interest, which included four annual breeding rights.
Furthermore, this is hardly the first link between Stonestreet and Hill ‘n’ Dale. Stonestreet bred and raced Atreides and Maclean’s Music; both now stand stud at Hill ‘n’ Dale. This seems an emphatic continuation of that relationship.
The timing could not have been more fortuitous for Hill ‘n’ Dale. In the months since they inked the deal, black type has been added liberally over Curlin’s stud record.
In the first three years Curlin’s babies were on the track, he had just two North American graded stakes winners: multiple Grade I winner Palace Malice and Grade II winner Moulin de Mougin.
In the last three months since Hill ‘n’ Dale bought the share in Curlin, he has four new graded stakes winners. This tally includes a pair of new Grade I winners. Curalina won the Acorn (GI) at Belmont in June, and then won the Coaching Club American Oaks (GI) the next month. Last weekend, Keen Ice upset American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes (GI). Curlin also had his first two juvenile graded stakes winners this year: Off the Tracks won the Schuylerville Stakes (GIII) in July, and Exaggerator took the Saratoga Special (GII) last month.
Even Stellar Wind, already a multiple graded stakes winner and a Grade I winner at the time of the auction, could not leave well enough alone. She added a win in the Torrey Pines (GIII) just last weekend, bringing her career graded stakes tally up to four.
Hill ‘n’ Dale stated in their press release that they plan to send Teeming, and daughters of Teeming, to Curlin. This move makes sense from a sire line perspective. Streaming, a daughter of Teeming by Smart Strike (Curlin’s sire), won the Hollywood Starlet (GI) in 2013. Streaming’s juvenile full sister Treasuring has not figured it out yet, but has been third in two loaded maiden races at Del Mar this summer. Distracting, a daughter of Teeming by Distorted Humor, is stakes-placed. Distorted Humor, like Curlin, is from the Mr. Prospector line. With results like this from other stallions from the same sire line, why not see how her family works with Curlin?
Curlin’s future as a stallion looks bright going forward. He looked up-and-coming leading into this year, but this year has moved him into the proven zone. On his merits as a stallion already, he should attract some excellent mares, whether connected to his owners or coming in from far and wide.
Good luck to Hill ‘n’ Dale, and to Stonestreet. The future should be full of classy and exciting Curlin babies.