If there are two things that hit Blinkers Off square in the wheelhouse, they are Curlin babies and Illinois-breds. Rarely do those two niches overlap, but recently there have been a few points where they have. This makes it a good time for updates on all of his Illinois-bred progeny.
This past Saturday, Chicken Noodle (Perfectly Campbell, by Pleasantly Perfect) debuted at Hawthorne in a one mile and seventy yard maiden special weight over the dirt. She is beautifully bred, particularly for an Illinois-bred: by Curlin, out of a winning half-sister to Nates Mineshaft. She is also a good-looking filly:
As one would expect, given her breeding, she did not win first time out. However, she made strong account of herself. She rallied well late, and was the only one in the field to mount any sort of a challenge to her odds-on stablemate Crusader Girl Too. Though Chicken Noodle finished 2 1/2 lengths short, she was four clear of third-place Lakota Rose.
It was a promising start, and hopefully she can build upon that. As she does run for longtime local trainer Michael Reavis, it is a safe bet that she will remain on the Chicago circuit.
Chicken Noodle is one of two Curlin babies of her year. The other, Curlinup (Almost Sma, by Cure the Blues), still has yet to race.
This filly, now three, entered a race at Arlington in July. She was scratched. She has been on the worktab, most recently on December 18 at Fair Grounds, but the intermittent frequency of her works suggests that a start looks far off still.
Curlin Moon (Meadow Moonlight, by Meadowlake), a foal of 2012, was the first Illinois-bred Curlin baby to hit the track. Sold as a weanling at Keeneland November, she was sent to Russia between that sale and the end of the year.
She was winless in five starts as a juvenile in 2014, but things picked up during her three-year-old season. She broke her maiden third off the lay, in a 1800 meter (~9F) conditions race at Rostov-on-Don. There, she crossed the wire almost a full second clear of her closest rival. (Lengths were not included on the race record.)
Three starts later, on August 29 at Akbuzat Hippodrome, Curlin Moon won the S. Budenny Memorial Stakes (GIII – RUS) by a five-length margin. That was a 2800 meter (~14F) test, the longest of her career. She has started once more since, in the Bashkortostan Ministry of Agriculture S. at Akbuzat on October 10. She finished third in that 2000 meter (~10F) race, beaten 2 3/4 lengths.
Age and distance have suited Curlin Moon well, and hopefully she can return for another solid season at four.
With an eye to the next generation, the recently released Illinois Department of Agriculture report of 2015 foals contains good news. Unlike 2014, Curlin does appear on the list. The lone Curlin baby foaled in Illinois in 2015 was a filly out of Katys Gold Touch (Touch Gold).
This filly has four older half-siblings, three of whom have raced. Five-year-old Hey Pretty Boy (Thunder Gulch) is the most accomplished of the three. He has six wins in 25 starts, including a pair of allowance wins during the recently concluded Hawthorne meet. Dennie’s Dream (Thunder Gulch) has won three times in fifteen starts; the four-year-old filly last won in conditioned $5,000 claiming company at Hawthorne two starts back. Two Minute Man (Fusaichi Pegasus) just turned three. He raced once in November, finishing ninth in a maiden special at Hawthorne, but has not worked since. She has also produced a two-year-old colt named Pi Sail.
Worth noting is that Hey Pretty Boy, Dennie’s Dream, and Two Minute Man are all by stallions who trace to Mr. Prospector along the male line. Thunder Gulch traces to Mr. Prospector via Gulch; Fusaichi Pegasus is a son of Mr. Prospector. Curlin, as well, traces to Mr. Prospector through his sire Smart Strike.
All five daughters of Katys Gold Touch, including the Curlin filly, were bred by Carent Stable. Based on the three who have raced, as well as Carent Stable’s other runners, it suggests that if she does make it to the races, she will likely debut for trainer Larry Rivelli.