Curlin's Approval slated to return in Ana T. Stakes

Press Release
May 31, 2018 01:37pm
Multiple graded-stakes winner Curlin’s Approval is slated to return from a 3 ½-month freshening in Sunday’s $75,000 Ana T. Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The seven-furlong stakes for fillies and mares is a key prep for the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ race on Gulfstream’s Summit of Speed program June 30.

Curlin’s Approval will seek a repeat victory in the Princess Rooney, which she won by 4 ½ lengths last year.

The 5-year-old daughter of Curlin, who is owned by breeder/trainer Happy Alter and Bridlewood Farm, is scheduled to clash with four opponents in the Ana T., a race named for the 1989 Princess Rooney winner.

“She’s been doing well, as her breezes show. Sometimes horses after being off a while need a race, but we’re hoping that’s not the case,” Alter said. “She looks good. She’s put on weight. She was running frequently, every month, so she’s put on weight and looks good. She’s feeling good. I’m optimistic. There are some stakes horses in there, and we respect the competition.”

Curlin’s Approval captured three graded stakes in 2017, the Hurricane Bertie (G3) and Princess Rooney at seven furlongs, as well as the Royal Delta (G2) at 1 1/16 miles. Her victory earned her a fees-paid berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 4 at Del Mar, where she lost all chance after stumbling out of the starting gate.

“Those things happen, and we have to go on from there,” Alter said. “It was disappointing. All the bases were covered. She stood in the gate at Del Mar. Everything went fine. Sometimes the ground just breaks out from under them.”

Curlin’s Approval raced three times during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet without a victory, finishing second in both the Rampart (G3) and Hurricane Bertie (G3), before finishing fifth in the Feb. 19 Royal Delta after becoming involved in an early pace duel with Lewis Bay, the eventual second-place finisher.

“Chad Brown’s good filly and us ended up going head and head, and neither of us benefited from it,” Alter said.

Tyler Gaffalione has been named to ride Curlin’s Approval in the Ana T. The 23-year-old rising star has ridden her twice previously in back-to-back races in 2016, winning the Added Elegance Stakes at Gulfstream before finishing fourth in the Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland.

“He’s familiar with her and he’s breezed her,” said Alter, whose homebred has had a series of five breezes, including back-to-back five-furlong workouts.

Winds of Change Racing Stable’s Rich Mommy will also bring graded-stakes credentials into the Ana T. The Victor Barboza Jr.-trained 4-year-old filly captured the Dec. 16 Sugar Swirl (G3) before finishing 1 ¾ lengths behind Curlin’s Approval in a third-place showing in the Hurricane Bertie. Emisael Jaramillo has the mount.

Doritza, Yes I’ll Go and Ms. Scarlet Fever round out the field.

The Skinny on Curlin’s Approval

She’s by two-time Horse of the Year and leading sire Curlin

Owner-trainer Happy Alter bred Curlin’s Approval.

Her dam, Withmon’sapproval, was winless in four starts.

She broke her maiden in her career debut at Gulfstream on June 5, 2016

Her graded-stakes victories all came in 2017 in the Hurricane Bertie (G3), Royal Delta (G2) and Princess Rooney (G2).

Alter’s top horses have included Grade 1 winner Jolie’s Halo, Grade 2 winner Mataji, Grade 3 winners Halo’s Image, Frosty the Snowman, D.J. Cat and Hold That Fool, and multiple-stakes winner Sugar’s Image.


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