Just like her full-sister, champion Malathaat (Curlin), Julia Shining (Curlin) not only won her debut at Keeneland Oct. 16, but did so in 'TDN Rising Star'-fashion. And she followed in her GI Breeders' Cup Distaff-winning sister's hoofprints once again Saturday, capturing the GII Demoiselle S. in the slop at Aqueduct.
Favored just like her sister, albeit at 1-2 instead of 2-5, Julia Shining was even farther back than Malathaat was in her Demoiselle, racing in second last as 37-1 shot Tribal Queen (Bolt d'Oro) clocked opening splits of :24.61 and :49.35. Pushed along by Luis Saez every step of the way while racing off the trail, the Stonestreet homebred still had plenty left to do as three quarters went in 1:14.31. Swung out six wide turning for home, the bay dug deep beneath a vigorous hand ride from Saez, sweeping past Affirmative Lady (Arrogate) and stablemate Gambling Girl (Dialed In) in the final strides to win by a neck. With the win, she earned 10 points towards a start in the GI Kentucky Oaks.
“Clearly she has tons of natural talent and is still putting it all together,” said winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “We knew from her debut that she didn't like the kickback, and you add the sloppy track into that today, so that was our biggest concern was trying to get her into the clear. Unfortunately, the only way to get her into the clear was to go pretty wide, but she's got so much natural stamina that we felt the mile and an eighth was really going to play to her strengths. The only concern I had was she has never run on an off track. The mile and an eighth [was not a concern]. That's what she really is looking for.”
The Hall of Famer continued, “She was clearly not handling things [down the backstretch] and Luis [Saez] was trying to encourage her to improve position and finally did it around the quarter pole. Once she found a rhythm down the lane, she started to close and Luis said she kind of got her head in front and then wanted to wait a little bit.”
Pletcher said Julia Shining would go to Florida, while third-place Gambling Girl would remain in New York this winter.
“The trip was good. She's still learning,” Saez said. “The track was pretty sloppy.”
Asked when the winner found her rhythm, Saez said, “At the top of the stretch, just the top of the stretch. The whole way she was not interested. She doesn't like [the kickback]. I feel like the track was a no, but when everybody started running at the top of the stretch, she just got by and stayed.”
Julia Shining's ultra-talented sister Malathaat opened her account with five straight wins for Pletcher. She won the Tempted S. in between her debut and the Demoiselle and captured the GI Central Bank Ashland S. en route to a GI Kentucky Oaks win. Malathaat also captured the GI Alabama S. last term and finished third in the Distaff, clinching the Eclipse award for top 3-year-old filly. She will likely take home another championship title this year after three Grade I wins, topped by a gutsy Distaff score last month, after which she was retired to Shadwell's broodmare band.
While Malathaat was sold to Sheikh Hamdan's operation for $1.05 million at KEESEP, Julia Shining was retained by Barbara Banke, just like all of her dam Dreaming of Julia's other foals. The daughter of A.P. Indy had one foal in between the two Curlin fillies, an unnamed 3-year-old colt by Medaglia d'Oro. The 12-year-old mare had a Medaglia d'Oro filly in 2021 and another Curlin filly Apr. 4 of this year. She was bred back to Into Mischief.
Also a Stonestreet homebred trained by Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, regular pilot of Malathaat, Dreaming of Julia captured the GI Frizette S. and GII Gulfstream Oaks. She is a daughter of dual Grade I winner Dream Rush (Wild Rush), who is also the dam of MGSW Dream Pauline (Tapit) and SW Atreides (Medaglia d'Oro).
Julia Shining is the 50th graded winner and 92nd black-type scorer for the mighty Curlin. She is also the 120th graded victor and 254th black-type winner out of a daughter of the late, great A.P. Indy. In addition to Malathaat and Julia Shining, the Curlin/A.P. Indy cross is also responsible for MGISWs Stellar Wind, Clairiere and Nest; and Grade I scorers Global Campaign, Idol and Paris Lights.
DEMOISELLE S.-GII, $250,000, Aqueduct, 12-3, 2yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:53.05, sy.
1–JULIA SHINING, 118, f, 2, by Curlin
1st Dam: Dreaming of Julia (GISW, $874,500), by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Dream Rush, by Wild Rush
3rd Dam: Turbo Dream, by Unbridled
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. 'TDN Rising
Star' O-Stonestreet Stables LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred
Holdings LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Luis Saez. $137,500.
Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $194,075. *Full to Malathaat, Ch.
3yo Filly, MGISW, $3,790,825. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple
Plus* Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Affirmative Lady, 118, f, 2, Arrogate–Stiffed, by Stephen Got
Even. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($210,000
Ylg '21 KEESEP; $400,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR). O-AMO Racing
USA; B-Alastar Thoroughbred Co, LLC (KY); T-H. Graham
3–Gambling Girl, 118, f, 2, Dialed In–Tulipmania, by Empire
Maker. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($200,000 Ylg '21 SARAUG).
O-Repole Stable; B-Gallagher's Stud (NY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.
Margins: NK, 3/4, 3 3/4. Odds: 0.55, 7.10, 9.40.
Also Ran: Royal Spa, La Vita Sofia, Foggy Night, Tribal Queen.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.