Welcome back to the Twelve Days of Curlin Babies, where we celebrate the twelve most memorable races from Curlin’s progeny through 2019. Among all the hundreds of races in which they ran this year, these are the ones to which my mind keeps wandering back.
#12: Curlina Curlina Finds the Wire
#11: A Pleasant Surprise, Volgograd
#10 Ajaaweed Emerges as a Juvenile to Watch
#9 Lady Apple Trains On
#8 Tenfold and Cordmaker Stretch Out
#7 Chaos Theory Defies His Inexperience
#6: Global Campaign, Standard Deviation, and Curlin Grey Hit the Trifecta
#5 Point of Honor Lives Up to Expectations
#4 Risky Risky Risky Comes Home
There haven’t been too many Illinois-bred Curlin Babies. The first pair came in 2012: Curlin Moon, who went on to become a Russian Group 3 winner, and a colt out of Bluestem Meadow, who unfortunately did not survive long enough to be registered and named.
There were Chicken Noodle and Curlinup, both born in 2013. Both fillies went on to win right here in Illinois. Both are now broodmares. Chicken Noodle was bred to Da Stoops this year; Curlinup has a Munnings filly born in 2019, and was bred to Fast Anna this year.
Volgograd was also born in 2013…though he was bred in Kentucky, he is out of Magnetic Miss, an Illinois-bred who won six stakes races, giving Volgograd a certain honorary Illinois-bred status.
My mind hands out things like honorary Illinois-bred status because there are so few born here. After all, since 2013, there has been only one Curlin foal born in Illinois: a filly born in 2015, Risky Risky Risky (Katys Gold Touch, by Touch Gold).
Despite being one of so few Curlin babies born in Illinois, she did not begin her career in her home state. Instead, she began her career in Florida, in the barn of Mark Casse. No factor in a trio of maiden special weights at Gulfstream through the summer of 2018, she dropped into the claiming ranks. Claimed by David Kassen out of a fourth-place finish at Gulfstream Park West in October, she raced once more in November. Off the board again, she called an end to 2018.
Risky Risky Risky returned to the worktab on March 18 of this year. However, she was no longer in Florida. She was at Hawthorne!
She worked at Hawthorne the next three weeks, then entered a maiden special weight there for fillies and mares on April 18, six furlongs on the dirt for her new connections, trainer Patti Miller and owner Lucky Charms Enterprises. She caught a muddy track for the first time, something Curlin’s progeny generally handled well. The six furlongs looked a bit short, at least on paper — but it was her first race in four months, so perhaps it was just a tightener for Arlington.
Risky Risky Risky broke well, but was happy to settle toward the rear of a compact field of six, only two lengths off of a three-way pace battle. She had to split horses into the turn, but remained comfortably behind the battling vanguard, though walled in past the three eighths as odds-on Ghaaleb’s Magic made her move.
Past the quarter, Risky Risky Risky lied in wait: going nicely, but looking for somewhere to go. At the three sixteenths, Ghaaleb’s Magic drifted out. Jockey Constantino Roman shook Risky Risky Risky’s reins, asking her what she had.
She shot right through the opening. Roman drove her clear into the final furlong. Though Lillet made an outside rally, Risky Risky Risky was gone, two and a quarter lengths clear at the wire.
Not only was Risky Risky Risky home, but she was no longer a maiden.