Welcome back to the Twelve Days of Curlin Babies, where we celebrate the twelve most memorable races from Curlin’s progeny throughout 2018. Through all the hundreds of races in which they ran this year, these are the ones to which my mind keeps wandering back.
#12: Timeless Curls Marks Herself a Rising Star
#11: Secret Passage Comes Into His Own
#10: Legit Proves Aptly Named in His Gulfstream Unveiling
When you pay $125,000 for a yearling, you hope he is going to be good. When you go on to name that horse Legit, you’re making a public proclamation that he will be.
Though the eyes of the racing world stopped focusing so sharply on Gulfstream after the Florida Derby on March 30, the season of promising three-year-olds wasn’t over in South Florida quite yet. On April 19, sophomore colt Legit (Logalina Pompina, by Corinthian) made his first start, debuting in a maiden special weight dirt mile.
Given the challenging rail draw for his debut, Legit lined up at the inside of a field of seven. At 8/5, the Todd Pletcher trainee carrying the Repole Stable silks was the second choice in the field, behind fifth-time starter Crafty Jack. He ceded experience to every foe in the field except for Our Honor, a son of Union Rags who didn’t follow trainer Chad Brown back to the Empire State.
Down the chute, he settled kindly in the second flight, inside of Diplomatic Shaft, as the favourite vied for the lead inside of Our Honor and Glass Bridge. The chestnut son of Curlin chased, pushed along by jockey Tyler Gaffalione to keep in range of the battling trio.
Through the turn, Glass Bridge faded out, leaving Crafty Jack and Our Honor to fight up front. Legit drew closer through the turn, passing outside of the fading Glass Bridge, and reeled in that leading pair near the quarter pole. Crafty Jack stayed in close range until the three sixteenths pole — but from there, he only proved second best. Legit drove clear into the final furlong, and with Gaffalione only waving the whip a few times from there, he came home seven and a quarter lengths clear of the favourite.
Legit returned less than a month later, on May 17, in an allowance at Pimlico. Unlike in his debut, the public expected a dazzling effort, sending him off at 1/2 odds in the sloppy dirt route one-other-than. He lived up to his name by settling well off the pace, kicking on into the lane, and drawing away to win by four lengths.
Unfortunately, that is the last we have seen from Legit on the track. He has yet to race since that May allowance win. But, if we see him again, he will be a welcome presence…and if we don’t, we have these two dazzling efforts to remember, a month during which he looked like a legitimate rising star in the three-year-old ranks.