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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

CURLIN STAKES: AN INTERESTING LOOK INTO THE 3-YEAR-OLD FUTURE

JULY 24,2019—Friday’s nine horse field is an interesting event that features two uncoupled entries and two three-year-olds that are undefeated on dirt, one a career perfect 2-for-2.

One is the G3 Iroquois Stakes winner Cairo Cat (12-1), who owns a win around two turns. The problem is that he is making his three year old debut vs. more experienced rivals with recent conditioning.

The true undefeated horse, one half of Chad Brown’s uncoupled duo, is Looking at Bikinis, the 5-2 early line favorite, but he’s never raced around a second turn.

By Lookin At Lucky from a Bernardini mare, Looking At Bikinis won’t be distance challenged. Neither is his teacher, Brown, or his partner, Javier Castellano. Could this very fast colt be the sixth Travers winner Castellano seeks?

Some would call Intrepid Heart (7-2) disappointing. Even trainer Todd Pletcher admits the colt has underachieved when measured against early expectations. But he is a solid contender nonetheless and is eligible to improve.

The only times Intrepid Heart went long, the G3 Peter Pan and G1 Belmont Stakes, he had excuses in both with troubled starts.

Kiaran McLaughlin has a very interesting prospect in Endorsed. Following a visually impressive win over today’s surface, he came out of the G1 Champagne subsequently with physical issues, ending his juvenile season.

Endorsed didn’t resurface until June 23 at Belmont Park where he ran a 1:08 3/5 hole in the wind going three-quarters. A son of Medaglia D’oro, he can be, as racetrackers say, any kind. Win or lose, we can’t wait to see him go two turns. From the Tapit mare Dance Card, he has lineage to succeed.

Yet another interesting newcomer is Highest Honors, who is a neck shy of being 2-for-2 in life. Had a troubled trip when second in his debut, a race in which the first and finishers returned to win.

Next out, Highest Honors broke maiden going 1-1/16 miles, a race in which the second finisher returned to win. He is still another runner in this group whose future might be bright, indeed.

Preakness winner War of Will is scheduled to meet five rivals in Saturday’s G2 Jim Dandy. Any member of today’s field could be just one race away from joining the division’s elite.

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