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ELMONT, NY – Michael Dubb and Michael Caruso’s speedy New York-bred Run Curtis Run tries turf and open company for the first time in Sunday’s $150,000 Futurity Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park.
The Futurity is a 6-furlong outer turf sprint restricted to 2-year-olds that serves as the fifth event on a 9-race card with a local post time of 2:43 PM. The race is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Del Mar this November.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Futurity:
1. Run Curtis Run 12/1 – He dueled through a hot early pace and folding like a cheap tent in the 6 1/2-furlong Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga, though he wasn’t persevered with after he began to give way. The gate-to-wire winner of the 6-furlong Violette Stakes is by a sire who produces 11% turf winners and out of a turf stakes-winning dam, and trainer Mike Maker is sharp on turf (17% win rate).
2. Midnight Worker 6/1 – He broke his maiden on debut by a head in a 6-furlong Saratoga dirt sprint, then stretched out to a two-turn mile at Monmouth Park and finished third in the Sapling Stakes. Sire Outwork produces 13% first-time turf winners and trainer Todd letcher wins 23% with a $2.11 ROI when making similar surface swaps. He should be sharp cutting back, but will he like the turf?
“I worked him a couple of times on the grass and he seemed to breeze pretty well over it, so hopefully he can step up,” Pletcher said. “It seems like the Outworks are pretty versatile. He’s had some winners on both dirt and turf, which gives you some options.”
3. Biz Biz Buzz 8/1 – He broke his maiden on debut by 3 lengths in a 5 1/2-furlong Laurel Park turf sprint that saw him get bumped at the start and lose several lengths early. It’s his first time facing winners and just his second career start, both not insignificant hurdles to clear as he ships to new surroundings, but the way he finished in his debut hints that the extra distance here will only benefit him.
4. Slipstream 4/1 – He broke his maiden by 5 1/4 lengths last time out, running gate to wire over this course through slow splits while traveling 7 furlongs. Cutting back here might help, as he could sit off the early pacesetters and have enough left to keep churning when everyone else is tired. Trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Joel Rosario have won 21% together since the start of 2020.
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5. Chi Town Lady 2/1 – The morning line favorite is the first of two runners (both fillies) from trainer Wesley Ward, who won the 2019 edition of this race. She broke her maiden on debut running gate to wire going 4 1/2 furlongs over Keeneland dirt in April, then stalked and pounced for victory in the 5 1/2-furlong Bolton Landing Stakes over a yielding Saratoga lawn. This is her first against males.
6. Kavod 15/1 – Let’s see if his fourth start against good stakes horses goes any better than his last 3 when he was fifth (beaten 15 1/4 lengths) in the Sanford (G3), fifth (beaten 20 3/4 lengths) in the With Anticipation (G3) on turf, and sixth (beaten 18 1/4 lengths) in the Champagne (G1) last time out. His best efforts came over the local main track, but even those efforts wouldn’t threaten here.
7. Ready to March 20/1 – Kavod’s stablemate in the James Chapman barn was a gate-to-wire winner going 5 furlongs at Finger Lakes in his only start to date. He was a geared-down winner after an early pace duel, but the quality of that field doesn’t compare to anything he’ll see here (except maybe Kavod). Chapman is 0 for 15 in turf sprints and 0 for 21 with horses trying turf for the first time.
8. Poppy Flower 5/2 – Ward’s second entry hit the board in all 5 starts so far, including breaking her maiden going 6 furlongs over the local inner turf in her third afternoon appearance. She was then second to her stablemate in the Bolton Landing before finishing third in the 6 1/2-furlong Ainsworth Stakes at Kentucky Downs. She should be much sharper cutting back and be the outside early speed.
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