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Denali Sales Grad CURALINA Takes the G1 Acorn
Monday, June 8, 2015


Curalina--a jaw-dropping last out winner of a $75k optional tagger going two turns on the GI Kentucky Oaks undercard--dove right into the deep end with an impressive tally in Belmont Park's GI Acorn S. Off last of 12 after getting bumped hard and squeezed at the start, she recovered nicely to secure a good position on the outside in fifth as the unbeaten GIII Eight Belles S. heroine Promise Me Silver (Silver City) led narrowly through fractions of :22.89 and :45.42. Fellow undefeated sophomore filly Miss Ella (Exchange Rate)--a last out winner of Keeneland's GII Beaumont S. Apr. 12- turned up the heat on the far turn, while Curalina also began to rev up with a fourwide move. By the Moon was the first to take on the dueling leaders and the stage was set. Last year's GI Frizette S. victress made a powerful move to gain command as they straightened for home. Johnny Velazquez continued to go to work on Curalina, however, and the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' colorbearer just kept on coming on the outside to reel in By the Moon in the shadow of the wire. Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies third Wonder Gal also ran on well between foes to finish a strong third.

"She's a filly we'd had high hopes for for a long time", trainer Todd Pletcher said. "We felt like she was one of our best 2-year-old fillies last year, unfortunately she had some baby stuff that she needed some time off for. She came back and ran impressively in both starts, [and] we came here with the Acorn in mind and then she made it an easy decision by how well she trained."

Curalina, a very troubled second in her July 27 debut in the mud at Saratoga, closed with purpose to finish runner-up to High Dollar Woman (Super Saver) that day, with future GII Matron S. winner Paulassilverlining (Ghostzapper) back in fourth. Sidelined off that effort, the chestnut resurfaced with a professional one-length maiden victory after some early trouble in a seven-furlong maiden on the GI Florida Derby undercard Mar. 28 and made it back-to-back wins with a blowout tally beneath the Twin Spires last out.

Pletcher added, "She got a horrible start. She got sandwiched from both sides. I thought she lost all chance right there. If you watch the head on replay, it was a pretty remarkable effort. I'll talk to Aron Wellman at Eclipse--I doubt we'd want to run back in the Mother Goose in three weeks, but we won't rule it out. The [GI] Coaching Club [American Oaks at Saratoga] would make a lot of sense."

Source: Thoroughbred Daily News, 6/7/2015 



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