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Raison d'Etat Lukewarm Curlin Favorite

A field of seven closely matched 3-year-olds, all looking to take the next step, will gather Friday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course in the third running of the $75,000 Curlin at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

Much like the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy the following day, the Curlin will serve as a barometer for later-developing sophomores whose connections have an eye on the Grade 1, $1 million Travers on August 27.

"You might not think your horse is ready for prime time, but if he performs well here, you can look at the next one [the Travers]," said Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, who will saddle Bold Warrior in the Curlin, which is restricted to 3-year-olds who have not won a graded stakes over a mile in 2011.

A Bernardini colt owned by Irving M. Cowan, Bold Warrior will be making his fourth career start in the Curlin and first around two turns. Second in his first start at Belmont Park in April, he returned to break his maiden by three lengths on May 21 and returned a little more than a month later to win a seven-furlong optional claimer by 3 ½ lengths.

"He handles the two turns every morning," said Jerkens, "but you don't know until they actually go out there and do it."

With Jose Lezcano aboard, Bold Warrior drew the rail and was listed as the co-second choice at 3-1.

Drawing alongside Bold Warrior and also at 3-1 on the morning line is Prime Cut, whose lone off-the-board performance of his career was an 11th-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. Prior to that, the Bernstein colt was third to Jim Dandy-bound Alternation in the Grade 2 Peter Pan and second to Derby Kitten in the Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland.

Hall of Famer Edgar Prado has the mount.

Favored in the Curlin is Juddmonte Farms' Raison d'Etat, an A.P. Indy colt whose third start was an eye-catching 7 ¾-length maiden score going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park on June 18. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Raison d'Etat, listed at 5-2 on the morning line, drew post position 3 and will be ridden by Eddie Castro.

Relatively new to trainer Todd Pletcher's barn is Turbo Compressor, who in his two starts for Pletcher was a 13 ½-length allowance winner at Monmouth Park and most recently third in the Grade 3 Pegasus.

"We're kind of testing the waters with him here," said Pletcher. "We were happy with his first race for us, but I think in the second he was a little too close to the pace. We'll see what happens here before deciding on what might be next for him."

Javier Castellano rides Turbo Compressor, 8-1 on the morning line, from post position 4.

Rounding out the field is Golden Gulch, recent allowance winner at Churchill Downs; Will's Wildcat, fourth in the Long Branch at Monmouth on July 9, and Point of Entry, a 15 ½-length maiden winner in an off-the-turf event on May 18 who subsequently was second in a 1 ¼-mile optional claimer on the turf on June 29, both at Belmont Park.

The field for the $75,000 Curlin:








Bold Warrior (KY)

J Lezcano


H A Jerkens



Prime Cut (KY)

E S Prado


N J Howard



Raison d'Etat (KY)

E Castro


W I Mott



Turbo Compressor (FL)

J Castellano


T A Pletcher



Point of Entry (KY)

J R Velazquez


C R McGaughey III



Will's Wildcat (KY)

C H Velasquez


J E Baker



Golden Gulch (KY)

J R Leparoux


E Kenneally




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