HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Alter’s Racing Stable’s Curlin’s Approval established herself as a star on the rise Saturday at Gulfstream Park, romping to a thoroughly dominating six-length victory in the $200,000 Royal Delta (G2).
The Marty Wolfson-trained 4-year-old daughter of Curlin proved emphatically that distance won’t be a problem while professionally negotiating the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Royal Delta in her first race around two turns.
“She ran like she trains. She trains as good as any horse I’ve been around,” Wolfson said. “At the 3/8ths pole, she was going easy. The farther she goes the better because I’ve had the family on the dam’s side, and Curlin just adds to it.”
Curlin’s Approval broke sharply under Luis Saez to gain a striking position outside pacesetter Verve’s Tale around the turn and into the backstretch. After fractions of 24.53 (seconds) and 48.74 for the first half mile, the homebred filly started to edge away from the pacesetter leaving the backstretch and taking the lead on the far turn without much encouragement from Saez. Curlin’s Approval took total control of the race on the turn into the homestretch and drew off to a decisive victory under lengthening strides.
“Marty didn’t tell me anything but to break and get a good spot, and that’s what I did. She broke well and was in a perfect spot, right there,” Saez said. “At the half-mile she took off; she wanted to go. I felt that stride, so I just let her go and she was very comfortable. She wanted to keep going. She wanted to fly.”
Sent to post as the 4-5 favorite in a field of six older fillies and mares, Curlin’s Approval ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.90. Mo’ Green, who rated behind Curlin’s Approval under John Velazquez along the backstretch, finished second, 5 1/4 lengths ahead of Eskenformoney, the 2-1 second choice who raced evenly under Javier Castellano.
Curlin’s Approval, who captured the seven-furlong Hurricane Bertie (G3) Jan. 28, has won five races, all coming at Gulfstream Park. In her only start outside Gulfstream in eight career starts, she finished fourth in the seven-furlong Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland Oct. 22 after pressing the pace between horses. Wolfson has no definite plan for Curlin’s Approval’s next start.
“There are so many places. I’m just not sure [when and where she’ll race next] because she ran within three weeks. I want to wait and give her a little time now. I was a little worried about her bouncing, but she trained so good. I was a little concerned running her back in three weeks, but now it’ll be five or six weeks,” Wolfson said. “We’ll look around. She ships good. When we went out to the Raven Run, she was fine, never turned a hair. She’s just really intelligent. Today, she came over and she was so relaxed. The more she runs the more relaxed she gets.”
Source: Gulfstream Park