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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Returning from a 3 1/2-month layoff, Sally’s Curlin showed no signs of rust, rallying from last and getting up just in time to win Saturday’s $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Dismissed by the betting public at odds of 10/1 under Edgar Prado, Sally’s Curlin hit the gate as she broke from post 5 and found herself at the rear of the field. Up front, Pauseforthecause pressured the rail-breaking Blamed through opening fractions of :22.13 and :44.61.
Given the green light heading into the far turn, Sally’s Curlin began picking off foes while weaving through traffic. Tipped out to run seven-wide at the top of the stretch, Sally’s Curlin continued rolling her way to the front, taking over command at the 1/16 pole.
Finishing the race going away, the Dale Romans trainee crossed 2 3/4 lengths ahead in a final time of 1:22.84 for the 7-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“She broke a step slow so I didn’t rush her, I just took my time,” Prado said. “I’ve been watching all her races and it seemed like she has a very nice kick. I just let her settle and tried to pick them up, and when I asked her, she rolled home. I didn’t want to be that far back, but because she broke a little slow, I didn’t want to rush her to catch the group and then have her slow down. I was trying to make the right move. Around the turn, I felt good when I started to see her getting closer and closer and I wasn’t really asking her. I was encouraging her but I wasn’t really asking for her best. I was like, ‘She’s got a good chance.’ I was looking for a place to go, but the rail was taken, so I went outside and she kept on going.”
Though no match late for the eventual winner, Wildwood’s Beauty outlegged Pauseforthecause by a length for second. Nonna Madeline was fifth ahead of the 5/2 favorite Lady Kate, who never found her best footing.
W W Fitzy, Heiressall, Unholy Alliance, and an empty Blamed completed the order of finish.
Sally’s Curlin’s win was her fourth in her past five starts, a streak that includes her first graded score, last November’s Chilukki Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. The 4-year-old daughter of Curlin now carries a record of 11-5-0-3 with $379,476 earned for co-owners CJ Thoroughbreds, Left Turn Racing, and Casner Racing.
“With this performance, the sky’s the limit,” Romans said. “The way she ran today. I didn’t know she was going to run that big. It might change things. We might have to look for some bigger stuff.”
Sally’s Curlin returned $22.60 to win, $8.60 to place, and $5 to show. Wildwood’s Beauty brought back $5 to place and $3.40 to show, while Pauseforthecause paid $5.80 to show.
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