Breeders’ Cup Friday proved a good day for three three-year-old fillies by Curlin.
Two daughters of Curlin lined up in the same Breeders’ Cup race today. Both Curalina (Whatdreamsrmadeof, by Graeme Hall) and Stellar Wind (Evening Star, by Malibu Moon) contested the Distaff. A little over five hundred miles east, Curlish Figure (Fi, by Langfuhr) contested an allowance at the same racetrack where Stellar Wind had broken her maiden less than a year ago: Laurel Park.
Curalina had faced older company once before in the Beldame; Stellar Wind was making her debut against older company. Still, each faced the toughest field they had faced to date.
They both acquitted themselves very nicely, and became the first Curlin babies to hit the board in the Breeders’ Cup.
Stellar Wind, in her first attempt against older, was stellar. Pinched off a bit after the break, she instead dropped in near the back of the pack into the first turn. She settled in as the field entered the backstretch, chased along, and then began to close up ground as the field approached the far turn. She started really moving about the same time that Sheer Drama did, but Stellar Wind kicked into gear more quickly. She turned for home five wide with the lead in sights, but Stopchargingmaria was moving well directly to her inside. Stopchargingmaria was drifting out a bit, bumping Stellar Wind a bit, but also moving well. The two shook well free from the pack, and charged toward the wire. Four-year-old Stopchargingmaria crossed the wire just a neck in front of Stellar Wind, though Stellar Wind was three and a half lengths clear of her closest competition. Though the stewards took a look, they determined there was insufficient evidence to take Stopchargingmaria down. Still, that takes nothing away from Stellar Wind’s performance. She took her show on the road, faced older for the first time, had a wide trip, and finished beaten just a neck for everything.
The third horse to cross the wire was the other daughter of Curlin in the field. Curalina tucked in midpack early, and despite her 8 post, got on the rail as the field came through the clubhouse turn. Down the backstretch, she advanced to stalk in the flight directly behind early pacesetters My Sweet Addiction and Yahilwa, just over a length astern, between Calamity Kate and Wedding Toast. Turning for home, she found herself behind a line of six horses: Calamity Kate, My Sweet Addiction, Yahilwa, Wedding Toast, Stopchargingmaria, and Stellar Wind. Joel Rosario sent Curalina inward, as there was a larger gap between Calamity Kate and My Sweet Addiction than anywhere else along that line. She got in between that pair, and battled them briefly. As My Sweet Addiction stopped, Curalina finally found her next gear. She stayed on past Calamity Kate, she stayed on past Yahilwa, and she had enough to turn back a belated rally from Sheer Drama. Though she finished 3 3/4 lengths behind her stablemate Stopchargingmaria, Curalina still finished a length clear of fourth-place Sheer Drama. She handled the traffic and the distance well.
A little earlier in the afternoon, Curlish Figure contested an allowance at Laurel. She had gone on a run at Delaware during the summer, breaking her maiden and then clearing N1X next out. She tried stakes company after that, finishing a perfectly creditable fifth in the Monmouth Oaks (GIII) in her stakes debut. Last out, trying N2X company on the love-it-or-hate-it Parx dirt, she was well off in a short field, wide, and finished fourth as the favourite.
The public sent Curlish Figure off at 4/5 to find her winning ways in an N2X allowance-optional dirt mile today.
The bettors were right on target.
Breaking from the 7 post of 8 in the one-turn mile, Curlish Figure settled in the second flight early, about a length and a half off of Savvy Sassy and Dora Dora. It stayed that way down the backstretch. Through the far turn, however, Curlish Figure began to cut into that lead. She passed Dora Dora and Savvy Sassy, and struck the front turning for home. Majestic Minister was rallying well from the outside, but Curlish Figure responded well when Victor Carrasco asked. She edged clear, crossing the wire 2 3/4 lengths to the good, with another 8 3/4 between Majestic Minister and third-place Savvy Sassy. The one-turn mile agreed, Laurel agreed, and Curlish Figure won with authority.
Congratulations to Curlish Figure, Stellar Wind, and Curalina for doing the Curlin babies proud today!