October 23, 2020

Hidden Scroll turns heads at Gulfstream Park

Hidden Scroll winning his racing debut at Gulfstream Park under jockey Joel Rosario on January 26, 2019 (c) Adam Coglianese Photography/Leslie Martin

by John Mucciolo

Did we just witness the second coming of Curlin?

Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Hidden Scroll drew the rail for his debut in a strong maiden field in the 4TH race on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. The Bill Mott trainee took advantage of the inner post slot to decimate his foes, drawing off to a dazzling 14-length win while never being asked.

Piloted by Joel Rosario, the Kentucky-bred broke slowly but gained control soon after the break. Hidden Scroll was one length clear after a swift half-mile in :44.75, and the edge only widened after that. The bay was 6 1/2 lengths in front after reaching six furlongs in a wicked 1:09.43, and he continued to pour it on. The impressive colt finished off one-mile over the sloppy, sealed strip in a fantastic 1:34.82 while in hand through the stretch.

The Hard Spun three-year-old had been training in good fashion in advance of his initial start but still went postward at odds of 8-1. He may have been a secret leading up to his first offering but the well-bred colt will become a very popular name this season following his tour-de-force on Saturday.

Hidden Scroll is out of the unraced Empire Maker mare Sheba Queen, who is a half-sister to Grade 2 vixen Starformer. His second dam is the brilliant Group 1 heroine Etoile Montante. This pedigree is flooded with Grade 1 winners like Sightseek, Tates Creek and Expert Eye.

It’s way too early to anoint Hidden Scroll as anything more than a superb maiden winner at this stage of his development. However, the way he won brought back a memory of another colt who ran off to a similar type of debut score on the Gulfstream surface.

In February 2007, a Smart Strike colt named Curlin exploded to a breathtaking 12 3/4-length win here while posting a 101 BRIS Speed figure. The wunderkind obviously went on to great things, retiring with more than $10 million in lifetime earnings and going down as one of the top race horses in my lifetime.

Comparing any runner with Curlin is foolish, of course, especially after a single start. However, it’s fun to dream about the potential of Hidden Scroll.