Curlin’s Approval was sent off the 4-5 favorite in Saturday’s $100,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) on the Pegasus World Cup (G1) undercard and ran to those odds with an easy 2 1/2-length victory under jockey Luis Saez.
The duo settled in behind a three-way pace duel that developed between Bodacious Babe, Linda Linda and Improv through an opening half-mile in :23 and :46.46. Curlin’s Approval came four wide around the turn and effortlessly collared Bodacious Babe, drawing off to finish the seven-furlong contest over Gulfstream Park’s fast main track in 1:23.23.
“She broke good,” Saez said. “We got behind the three (horses) and got her to a good spot. I slipped out and once we got to the outside, she started running. I thought we had it at that point.”
Curlin’s Approval paid $3.60 for the win, her first at the graded level. Genre followed in second as the 2-1 second pick while 23-1 second longest shot Distinta was another head back in third. Bodacious Babe, You Bought Her, Improv and Linda Linda completed the order of finish.
Curlin’s Approval entered the Hurricane Bertie off a close runner-up effort in the Rampart Stakes (G3), which closed out her sophomore campaign on December 17 owner Alter’s Racing Stable Inc. Prior to that the Curlin filly ran fourth in the Raven Run Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
“I think this filly will go on and be in the winner’s circle in Grade 1 competition. I might try to stretch her out next time, just to give her that opportunity. She’s so nice, never tries to bite anyone, a real lady,” Alter said. “She can make up what a lot of other horses couldn’t. She’d never been that far back before, but she proved she could handle it. This is a great day at Gulfstream and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Trained by Marty Wolfson, Curlin’s Approval opened her career at Gulfstream last June 5, breaking her maiden by four lengths. She finished fifth in the Azalea Stakes one month later before scoring back-to-back wins in an allowance/optional claimer and the Added Elegance Stakes.
Curlin’s Approval improved her record to read 7-4-1-0 and has accumulated $184,739 in lifetime earnings.
Bred in Kentucky by Happy Alter, Curlin’s Approval is out of the With Approval mare Withmom’sapproval.