• Miss Sunset (3-1) grinds out the win over Chalon in the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes.Posted 8 hours ago
  • Bonus Points (3-1) swings wide and draws clear to win the Maryland Million Classic.Posted 8 hours ago
  • La Coronel (5-1) leads them all the way in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.Posted 7 days ago
  • Rubilinda (6-5) finds the wire just in time to take the Pebbles Stakes.Posted 7 days ago
  • Engage (1-2) rolls home from last to win the Grade 3 Futurity Stakes.Posted 7 days ago
  • Bolt d'Oro is the 12-1 favorite in the current Las Vegas line for Kentucky Derby 2018.Posted 10 days ago
  • Romantic Vision (6-1) takes the sloppy Spinster (G1) at Keeneland.Posted 13 days ago
  • Unique Bella (1-5) returns with a clear victory in the L. A. Woman (G3) at Santa Anita.Posted 13 days ago
  • Flameaway (5-1) wins a three-horse photo finish in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) at a wet Keeneland.Posted 13 days ago
  • War Flag (9-1) wins the stretch battle in Belmont's Flower Bowl (G1).Posted 13 days ago
Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Curlin can do it as a stud too

Curlin Stallion 615 X 400
Photo: Lane's End


Anyone who doubted that two-time Horse of the Year Curlin was going to also be top notch as a sire must now be in full blown backtrack mode. The now ten-year-old chestnut son of Smart Strike is exploding out of the stallion starting gate, just as he did as a young runner in the winter of 2007. Standing for $25,000 at Lane’s End Farm, Curlin’s second crop has been lighting things up in the opening month of 2014.


I was so impressed with Top Billing’s debut performance at Laurel in early December, that I wrote about it that same day, and immediately got him into my Down and Derby Sweet 16 rankings. I thought his second race was about as good as a young sophomore could look in a losing performance, and that faith was rewarded last Saturday when Top Billing rolled from last to first in a Gulfstream Park allowance race. The easy victory, over the well thought of Surfing U S A, quickly moved Top Billing into everyone’s forefront in looking for a true 2014 Kentucky Derby contender. The Lane’s End homebred also impressed the defending Run for the Roses winning trainer, Shug McGaughey, who says a stakes race will most assuredly be next for the son of Curlin.


If Top Billing did Curlin proud last weekend, then Please Explain surely did more of the same today. Making her first start at Tampa Bay Downs, the dark bay daughter of the Preakness, Breeders’ Cup Classic, and Dubai World Cup champion, took her time on the rail in today’s Suncoast Stakes. As soon as that rail position opened up just a little coming off the far turn, the favored filly exploded through it, under Julien Leparoux. From there, she demonstrated her clear superiority over the other three-year-old fillies in the field, ultimately prancing to a sublime six-length score.


The Suncoast victory was the second in a row for the Tom Proctor trained miss. She ran away from a field of Gulfstream Park maidens by 5 ½ lengths to close her juvenile season. It will no doubt be bigger and better things for Please Explain from here, and I would not be surprised at all to see her in the Kentucky Oaks starting gate in three months.


And the 2014 hits keep coming from a crop that already included the 3rd place finisher in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, Ride On Curlin. Adding to his extremely impressive start to the new year, Curlin had two recent first-time starters make impressive runs on the Santa Anita turf. First on January 20, Texas Ryano had to wait and wait for room before unleashing a devastating late kick to win a one-mile maiden affair going away for trainer, Carla Gaines.


Speaking of devastating late runs, it was Diversy Harbor six days later who was probably even more impressive than her male counterpart. Also making her career debut, the Glen Hill Farm runner lagged at the back of a large field in a 6 ½ furlong maiden event down the hill before beginning her rally on the far turn. Spun out way wide for the stretch run, she rocketed down the center of track to sail by her competition and roll home by three eye-catching lengths. By Curlin, and a half sister to the classy Keertana, Diversey Harbor is definitely one to keep an eye on, for trainer, Tom Proctor.


While Curlin’s new three-year-olds are hot, his older runners are not too shabby either. As for that first crop, Curlin has now sired six stakes winners that are now four years of age, including the Pacific Northwest sensation, Stopshoppingdebbie, and the recent winner of the Native Dancer Stakes at Laurel, Bold Curlin. The Michael Trombetta trainee earned his first stakes victory impressively last week while scoring by two lengths and earning a solid 98 Beyer figure.


And of course, the cornerstone of Curlin’s  first crop was the Belmont Stakes winner, Palace Malice. The four-year-old Dogwood runner also added a score in Saratoga’s Jim Dandy over Will Take Charge to his resume, on the way to being voted an Eclipse Award finalist for 3yo male champion. As good as Palace Malice has been so far, I am likely not the only one who believes we still may have not seen the best yet of the colt, who recently began training again for Todd Pletcher down in Florida. 


As a twice named champion of American racing, Curlin the stallion has a lot to prove if he is going to live up to the Curlin the race horse. So far, so good.



comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Curlin can do it as a stud too...

Obviously the list is "new", Tom; I said that in my post last night. Into Mischief was toward the top last year (as he is now) with Vyjack as his chief earner at that time. Any stallion on the current list toward the top is going catapult upward once the big spring stakes races begin; I said that last night; Curlin or any other stallion is going to need major stakes winners to stay at or near the top. Should you care to read it, BH has an article titled "Into Mischief Proves a Sire To Watch". Midnight Lute has been written about many times in various publications over the past year. I very clearly stated that Curlin had attained his current status on the CURRENT list due to the large number of runners he has had on the track for the past two weeks, and that all those runners have done well in their respective categories. He (or any other stallion) must continue to produce runners of quality to be successful. That is a fact; I did not say otherwise.
Goblin,Curlin is atop of the 3rd crop sire list. But that is based on 3 weeks data.If you look closely he has had the most starters. The real star this year is the star of last year.That would be Into Mischief. People are thining about Curlin as a Sire,in the same manner they think of others opinions of his Progeny. If someoe does not agreee with the lofty expectations set by Curlin fans,they are almost branded haters. To date he has been an overrated sirebased on the publicity he is getting. Take away that publidity and he is an average sire. Can he develop into a great Sire. Absolutely. But on one hand the Curlinittes are using the reasoning that he is a new sire and that he deserves time. Fair assesment. Then the nonsense of the overhype should also stop. Like i said,Into Mischief has been more succesful to date by far. Yet one would not even know he existed .
A Classic winner in his first crop is a pretty good start for any stallion, and he might be a stallion that adds stamina to the breed which can only be good. Often great racehorses don't turn out to be great stallions but Curlin is off to a good start.
He's one of the most beautiful stallions out there. He's absolutely gorgeous!!
Now he is a solid Stallion. So he went from Stud to respectable to Solid. Does that mean if a post questions his results. His ranking will sink again. Thankfully the market(as bad as it could be)is not as up and down like you.
Why don't you acknowledge my post,the one about the double talking.
Gob, and he was top 3, I believe, on the 2nd crop sire list. He's off to a good start and my assumption, as you mentioned, is that his foals will improve over time. I was a fan of his as a racehorse, and he's making me a fan as a stud. Looking like one solid stallion, by my standards.
Don't worry,take care of the household.Alot more important. Hope all get well soon.
Tom, Your comment was not on my screen when I started writing. Everyone in my house is sick and I can't finish a sentence without having to go see about someone...I appreciate Brian's piece on Curlin and was supporting it.
Actually, Laurie Ross did a profile on Midnight Lute last year as he began to have some good runners--it can be seen by going to his HRN page. He and Curlin were at two and three on the second crop sire list for much of 2013, and both are now toward the top of the new third crop list. Curlin had two very good weekends for his runners over the past two weeks, with 4 stakes starters (would have been 5 had Socialbug not scratched) all of which either won or were second or third; he had the allowance winner, Top Billing; and the maiden winners, Charlie A and Diversy Harbor; can't remember when Texas Ryano ran, but he won as well. Anyway, Curlin is currently at the top, #1, on the third crop list. Of course he must have some major stakes winners to maintain the position. He is not going to be a sire of precocious 2y/o's, generally speaking.
I am sure the Fab Four will unite and come after me. Here goes guys,some ammunition to say i am byullying a fellow member. Maybe send some more Emails his way.When does your double talking cease. The first post on this thread has you stating Curlin is a STUD @ STUD producing big time foals. Forget my calling out Curlin,Jenna makes a statement and you panic. All of a sudden after she gives an example.You change your tune from STUD to RESPECTABLE SIRE producing good foals. Just like my post,every other sire is expected to produce top grade horse to be hailed.Quoting you,all Curlin has to do is produce respectable horse to be hailed.By the way,the word Stud means EXCLLENT. Alright Fab Four and the new recruit. LET ME HAVE IT.All i ask Jenna,do not hold it against him.This is part of the be popular crusade,please all of the people all of the time. If you think calling you out for double talking is my being ,as you say. Immature and a bully. Then guilty as charged.
Sullivan. Yes, Midnight Lute's good. As you said, he's not as popular as Curlin. That is part of the reason, obviously. Due to popularity or not, though, Curlin definitely warrants attention at stud. His offspring (while inconsistent) has won some big races and have flashed insane potential. Plus, Midnight Lute has been more quiet this year than last. Expect Palace Malice to improve into his 4 y/o year, and obviously Top Billing.
Jenna. Sure, he's no Kitten's Joy. But, I don't think you need to be as incredible @ stud as Kitten's Joy to be considered respectable. Curlin has dished out good foals. Palace Malice is a multiple graded stakes winner, going 12f. Top Billing (IMO) is the best 3 y/o in the land, and in my opinion, will prove as such when the year goes on.
I love Curlin, but how is awful mothe was ever bred to Smart Strike is beyond my comprehension. I'm of the belief a stallion needs a prestigious female family which obviously Curlin doesn't have.
  • https://www.facebook.com/chrismiskell · Curlin's dam might not have made Smart Strike's book in 2013/14, but in 2003 she fit quite nicely in with the type of mares he could expect. She was by a leading stallion in Deputy Minister and whatever the rest of her family was made of, that was enough. I am not sure how many stakes winners he had at that point, but if memory serves it was somewhere around twenty. Curlin's statistics will likely improve the longer his offspring are on the track, much like his sire's. They seem to need more time and added distance. Also, like Kitten's Joy, it may take a bit to determine the type of mare that will work best. Remember, Kitten's Joy did not have very impressive statistics with his first crop. Once they hit on a formula, the winners kept coming. · 1356 days ago
I am waiting for Bullet Train's crop
Being a bit hyped up, but let's give him some time.
Gelded,if you are referring to my comments.Please do not misinterpet my comments as sarcasm.It is reality,Top Billing. This is an Allowance winner only,please tell me if he has won anything else. Does he have potential to be a very good horse.The answer is yes. But guess what,so do about thousands of horses just starting their careers. Big Deal with Palice Malice. Do you know how many longshots that turned out to be nice horses have won a Triple Crown Race. More than you care to mention.So that does not impress me. But i guarantee you Sir or Maam .My comments are not of the sarcastic nature. Bandwagons are for Star Gazers.
  • geldedridgling · No bandwagon fan here. Since the article is about breeding, the score is Curlin’s had 1 3 year old crop and he produced 1 Belmont winner. His 2nd 3-year-old crop and he already has another potential classic winner. The article may be a couple months premature, but if Top Billing wins one of Derby prep races and/or a triple crown race, that would definitely be considered early success in the breeding world. His stud fee will probably increase. · 1357 days ago
i'm on the fence with curlin's "success" at stud....he's produced some nice horses but if you want to talk about a super stud- Kitten's Joy. Now that's success.
Halter was recently for sale at a charity auction. Photo would not upload here,,,Went for $4000
Maybe I didn't catch the sarcasm from the apparent trolling but Curlin is definitely a stud in the breeding shed. In his first crop to reach age 3 he's produced a Belmont winner and in his second crop, he's got a horse in Top Billing that looks as good as any horse on the trail. 2 crops and 2 potential classic winners is as good as you can get. He’s the next great Mr. Prospector sire side stud.

Related Pages

      Connect With Brian

Me On Facebook
Follow Me On Twitter


 ZATT's Star of the Week 

Bullards Alley

Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


Related Stories

Top Stories