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Ever So Lucky Breezes for Curlin

Ever So Lucky wins his debut

With jockey John Velazquez aboard, Ever So Lucky breezed five furlongs on the main track this morning in 59.38 seconds in preparation for Friday’s $100,000 Curlin, which will be his second start off a three-month layoff following a 10th place finish in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes.


“Johnny seemed pleased with him,” said Hall of Famer Jonathan Sheppard, who trains the Indian Charlie colt for George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable. “It was a chance for them to get acquainted. He was pleased with the way things went.”


Purchased for $600,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic 2-year-olds in training sale last May, Ever So Lucky broke his maiden impressively at Churchill Downs and next finished second to Gemologist in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Cup in November. Over the winter in Florida, Ever So Lucky had a series of setbacks while on the Triple Crown trail. He was scratched from the Hutcheson following a less-than-stellar breeze and missing a workout due to a bruised left hind foot in mid-February. Third in the Grade 3 Swale in his 3-year-old debut, he was never a factor in Blue Grass, finishing 17 ¼ lengths behind Dullahan over the synthetic surface.


“I’ve never really been able to put my finger on that,” said Sheppard. “He’s been training on the synthetic extremely well, and he’s always been able to handle different surfaces well, so it’s hard to think it could have been just that. He didn’t get a good break. He was way out in the back, in traffic, wide, checking … it wasn’t real pretty.”


Given a break following the Blue Grass, Ever So Lucky returned to the races in July, scoring an easy 7 ½-length victory in a one-mile optional claimer at Delaware Park. 


“It was great,” said Sheppard. “He wasn’t beating much, to be honest. But he did everything beautifully. A friend of his owner called me 20 minutes after the race. She said, ‘George is driving and I’ve been looking through the condition book and I’ve picked out a nice race for the horse.’ I said ‘Oh?’ She said, “It’s at Saratoga. It’s called the Jim Dandy, and it’s $600,000.’ And I said, ‘No. Let’s go up the ladder one step at a time.’”




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Older Comments about Ever So Lucky Breezes for Curlin...

Ditto. It's not the same without him. Conspicuous by his absence.
Glad to see him back!

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