The Breeders’ Cup gets underway tomorrow. Just like every year since 2013, when Palace Malice ran in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Curlin is represented. In this year’s Breeders’ Cup, scheduled for November 4-5 at Santa Anita, five Curlin babies are slated to run.
Curlin is still looking for his first Breeders’ Cup winner. He came close last year, when Stellar Wind finished just short of nine-furlong savant Stopchargingmaria in the Distaff. That was Stellar Wind’s first attempt against older company. A year later, Stellar Wind has grown better, faster, and stronger…and gives Curlin strong hope for his first Breeders’ Cup victory as a sire.
The following five progeny of Curlin will race in this year’s Breeders’ Cup:
- Curalina (Whatdreamsrmadeof, by Graeme Hall) – Pre-entered into the Distaff and the Filly and Mare Sprint, Curalina’s connections opted to run her in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Despite her third-place finish in last year’s renewal, the four-year-old filly will be one of the long shots this year given the triumvirate of Santa Anita-based champions. She does need to take a step forward from most of her performances this year to have a shot, but she does have consistency in her corner.
- Keen Ice (Medomak, by Awesome Again) – Keen Ice returned a promising third in an allowance at Belmont last month, and his connections have decided to go for the gusto: he will run once again in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The four-year-old colt was a giant-killer when he beat American Pharoah in the Travers last year, but that feat may pale in comparison with this one if he does manage to get the best of California Chrome and Arrogate. Keen Ice will have to take a significant step forward, plus hope for an extremely hot pace up front.
- Stellar Wind (Evening Star, by Malibu Moon) – Stellar Wind is one of the top contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She gets a fourth clash with Beholder, and will also meet sophomore sensation Songbird for the first time. She finished second in last year’s Distaff, her first career attempt against older fillies and mares. This year, at age four, she is an even stronger horse, and the Breeders’ Cup will be run at her home base, so she has an excellent shot to do her finish last year one better.
- Texas Ryano (Blending Element, by Great Commotion) – Relegated to the also-eligible list at pre-entry time, Texas Ryano did make it into the main field of the Breeders’ Cup Turf come final entries. Texas Ryano has been based on the west coast his entire career, and has recently been nabbing underneath shares in the local preps for the Breeders’ Cup Turf. However, the likes of Found and Highland Reel should prove a bit tougher than those of Ashleyluvssugar and Twentytwentyvision, making this race the ultimate class test for the five-year-old horse.
- Valadorna (Goldfield, by Yes It’s True) – Valadorna makes the jump from a maiden victory last out straight into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Her maiden victory was impressive: a six-length tour-de-force win in faster time than the fillies in the Grade I Alcibiades Stakes ran later than afternoon. It will be a class test for her, but she should get pace to chase. And, trainer Mark Casse is not the sort to give a horse this kind of class rise without a good reason.
Good luck to all the Curlin babies running in the Breeders’ Cup!