Curlin’s Approval ready for Breeders’ Cup following Barely Even score

Curlin’s Approval ready for Breeders’ Cup following Barely Even score
Curlin’s Approval ready for Breeders’ Cup following Barely Even score

Curlin's Approval wins 2017 Barely Even

Photo: Lauren King

Multiple graded-stakes winner Curlin’s Approval took a successful step toward her Breeders’ Cup debut Sunday at Gulfstream Park, cruising to a 4 ¾-length victory in the $50,000 Barely Even overnight handicap.


The 4-year-old daughter of Hall of Famer Curlin was hustled from Post 5 by jockey Edgard Zayas to get into a three-wide stalking position as Rashette and Concealedwithakiss sped through an opening quarter-mile in 22.35 seconds.


Curlin’s Approval ($2.80), heavily favored at 2-5 in the field of seven fillies and mares 3 and older, ranged up to Rashette after they went a half-mile in 45.17, assumed command without resistance straightening for home, and cruised to the wire in 1:22.38 for seven furlongs over a fast main track.


Money Or Love closed to be second, followed by Lirica, She Takes Heart, Rashette, Savingtime and Concealedwithakiss.


“I really liked the post position we got,” Zayas said. “It was a very good post position because all the speed was on the inside. I didn’t have to take so much out of her to get her into position. She did everything pretty easy and she won like she was supposed to. She’s going to be in very good form for the Breeders’ Cup, and I think she’s going to put on a good performance out there.”


Curlin’s Approval earned an all-fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 4 at Del Mar with a 4 ½-length triumph in the July 11 Princess Rooney (G2) at Gulfstream. It was her third career graded victory following the Royal Delta (G2) and Hurricane Bertie (G3) over the winter at Gulfstream. All three came under jockey Luis Saez, who will return to ride in the Breeders’ Cup.


Following the Princess Rooney, Curlin’s Approval ran sixth in the Ballerina (G1) Aug. 26 at Saratoga and missed some training time when Hurricane Irma swept through South Florida two weeks later. The Barely Even served as a hometown prep for the Breeders’ Cup over a track where she now owns seven wins from 10 tries.


“We got a good trip, and we got a good ride like was discussed beforehand,” said Happy Alter, who bred, trains and co-owns Curlin’s Approval with Bridlewood Farm. “Because of the time that was missed because of the hurricane, I had to give her a three-eighths [work] on Friday because I was worried enough hadn’t been done since the last race. Everything went well and we’re on to the Breeders’ Cup.


“I know her fractions were going to be quick but for the most part she didn’t get to really breeze quickly so it all worked out.”


Alter said he plans to ship Gulfstream-based Curlin’s Approval to southern California later this month.


“I have to check the flight schedule with the various people that are flying there, but we’d like to get out there the better part of a week before the race and at least gallop on the track,” he said. “If we have to go earlier to meet the schedule we might even have to do something more than that on the track. But I’d like to get to the paddock there and over to the gate and things like that. We can’t really relax until we accomplish the next step.”

Source: Gulfstream Park

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