A maiden when the year started, Curlin’s Catch has wasted little time improving her lot in the past five weeks. On Saturday, the 3-year-old filly dominated rivals in the $100,000 Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs while picking up Kentucky Oaks (G1) qualifying points.
Favored at 9-5 in the field of seven, Curlin’s Catch rated in fifth before advancing to third on the turn. Splitting rivals turning for home, she quickly took over from long-time leader Be Sneaky and ultimately finished 4 1/2 lengths to the good of that rival under Antonio Gallardo.
Owned by Breeze Easy and trained by Mark Casse, Curlin’s Catch paid $5.60 after covering one mile and 40 yards over a fast track in 1:40.89. Be Sneaky finished a half-length ahead of Il Malocchio, who had three-quarters of a length on Special Princess. The top four finishers earned Oaks qualifying points of 10-4-2-1, respectively.
Completing the order of finish were Feeling Mischief, Roll Up Mo Money, and Scenic Overlook.
Second in her debut facing males and then fifth in the Princess Elizabeth S., both over Woodbine’s Tapeta surface, Curlin’s Catch has improved dramatically on dirt in Florida this winter. She preceded this score with a 2 3/4-length maiden win at Gulfstream on Jan. 3 going one mile on the main track. She’s now earned $103,454.
By Curlin, Curlin’s Catch was produced by the Canadian champion Catch the Thrill, a daughter of A.P. Indy and Catch the Ring, the latter also a Sovereign Award winner. Bred in Ontario by Sam-Son Farm, she most recently sold as a $420,000 OBS April juvenile.
Tampa Bay (G3)
Get Smokin showed a change of tactics by stalking longshot pacesetter Proven Strategies in the $150,000 Tampa Bay S. (G3). Taking over at the top of the stretch, Get Smokin opened up a big lead down the lane and then held off several late comers to win by three parts of a length under Junior Alvarado.
“He’s a fast horse and he likes to be on the lead, but I knew (Proven Strategies) has a lot of speed too, so it wasn’t necessary for me to keep going after him and go head-to-head,” Alvarado said. “So I took a hold and my horse came back to me beautifully and relaxed so well. I knew the whole way around I had plenty of horse under me and by the three-eighths pole, when I put him outside and started picking it up, I had plenty of horse left.”
Owned by the Mary Abeel Sullivan and trained by Tom Bush, Get Smokin completed 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.75 and paid $10 as the 4-1 second choice in a field of 12. Eons finished second by a neck over Admission Office, with the order of finish rounded out by Talk Or Listen, 5-2 favorite Greyes Creek, Fancy Liquour, Atone, Delaware, Sole Volante, Proven Strategies, Armistice Day, and By Your Side.
This was the second career stakes win for the 4-year-old gelding Get Smokin, who captured the Hill Prince (G2) in October by a head and followed up with a close fourth-place finish in the Hollywood Derby (G1) in his most recent start. The 4-year-old gelding has placed in four other stakes, including the Kitten’s Joy (G3) and National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2).
By Get Stormy and out of Hookah Lady, by Smoke Glacken, Get Smokin was bred in Kentucky by Hurstland Farm and James Greene Jr. His record now stands at 12-3-3-2, $319,540.
Cutting the corner entering the stretch, while her main rivals were drifting out, proved a winning move for Counterparty Risk in the $150,000 Endeavour S. (G3) for fillies and mares.
Making just her fourth lifetime appearance, Counterparty Risk was nonetheless made the 9-10 favorite in the field of six fillies and mares and prevailed by one length over New York Girl. Longshot Margaret’s Joy ran third and was followed by No Mercy Percy, Irony of Reality, and Kelsey’s Cross.
Owned by Klaravich Stables and trained by Chad Brown, Counterparty Risk paid $3.80 after covering 1 1/16 miles on the turf in 1:43.20 under John Velazquez.
Fourth in her debut last October, Counterparty Risk broke her maiden at Aqueduct the following month and preceded this victory with a close second-place finish in the Lady of Shamrock S. at Santa Anita on Dec. 26. She’s now earned $153,580.
Bred in Ireland by Grangecon Holdings, Counterparty Risk is by Australia and out of Anklet, an Acclamation half-sister to Canadian International (G1) winner Sarah Lynx.