Alter’s Racing Stable’s Curlin’s Approval earned graded-stakes credentials at Gulfstream Park Saturday, scoring a dominating 2 ½-length triumph in the $ 100,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3).
The 20th running of the seven-furlong stakes for fillies and mares was the first of six supporting stakes on Saturday’s $ 12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) program.
Owned and bred by Happy Alter, the 4-year-old daughter of Curlin responded well to the cutback from one mile to seven furlongs while scoring her fourth win and second stakes victory in seven career starts. After coming up a little short in the stretch run after pressing the pace in the Rampart (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 17, Curlin’s Approval received a favorable set-up in the Hurricane Bertie.
The Marty Wolfson-trained Curlin’s Approval rated nicely for jockey Luis Saez in fourth as Bodacious Babe set the pace while pressed by Improv along the backstretch and into the far turn. Saez launched a three-wide sweep leaving the turn into the homestretch and the 4-5 favorite asserted herself through the stretch to win going away.
“She broke good. We got behind the three (horses) and got her to a good spot. I slipped out and once we got to the outside, she started running. I thought we had it at that point,” Saez said.
Genre, the 2-1 second choice ridden by John Velazquez, recovered from an early stumble to finish second, a head in front of third-place finisher Distinta and jockey Edgard Zayas, Curlin’s Approval ran seven furlongs in 1:10.76.
“I think this filly will go on and be in the winner’s circle in Grade 1 competition. I might try to stretch her out next time, just to give her that opportunity. She’s so nice, never tries to bite anyone, a real lady,” Alter said. “She can make up what a lot of other horses couldn’t. She’d never been that far back before, but she proved she could handle it. This is a great day at Gulfstream and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
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