Shadwell Stable's Malathaat (Curlin) strode home a powerful winner of the GI Juddmonte Spinster S. at Keeneland, earning an automatic berth to the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. The 2-5 favorite was never far from the front behind a moderate pace and surged up to challenge Letruska (Super Saver) nearing the stretch. Malathaat ricocheted to the lead off the turn and never looked back, storming home a 5 3/4-length winner.
“By the quarter pole, I saw Tyler [Gaffalione] was tapping on [Letruska], and I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to pass him and hopefully that discourages him,'” said winning rider John Velazquez. “Malathaat kept running today. Normally when she gets to the lead she slows down, and she did, but at the same time she was running a little bit. Right at the wire, she [moved sideways] and she almost left me at the wire. But she was much the best today.”
Malathaat is now three-for-three over the Keeneland strip where she will attempt to win the Distaff–a race she was third in at Del Mar last year–Nov. 5.
Looking ahead to the Breeders 'Cup, trainer Todd Pletcher said, “She seems to love the track here. She's three for three here now, so that's always encouraging, to know one handles the surface well.”
Among Malathaat's challengers at Keeneland next month will be another daughter of Curlin who romped to a graded victory Sunday; the 3-year-old Nest bested her elders with an effortless victory in the GII Beldame S. at Aqueduct.
Last year's champion 3-year-old filly with wins in the GI Kentucky Oaks, GI Alabama S. and GI Ashland S., Malathaat looks to only be getting better at four. She opened 2022 with a win in the GIII Doubledogdare S. and, following runner-up efforts behind Clairiere (Curlin) in the June 11 GI Ogden Phipps S. and July 24 GII Shuvee S., she returned to the winner's circle in the Aug. 27 GI Personal Ensign S. last time out.
“It's great when you have one in their third year of training and you get to know them pretty well and kind of know what they like,” said Pletcher. “You could tell that this year she's a bigger, stronger version of last year's self and needed a little more training. That's why last year we opted to go from the GI Alabama to the Breeders' Cup. But this year we thought with an older, more mature filly that's carrying more condition, that a prep race in between was more appropriate.”
In addition to Malathaat's win Sunday, Curlin was represented over the weekend by Elite Power, who captured the GII Vosburgh S. Saturday and Nest, who won the GII Beldame S. Sunday.
JUDDMONTE SPINSTER S.-GI, $600,000, Keeneland, 10-9, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m, 1:51.05, ft.
1–MALATHAAT, 124, f, 4, 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
($1,050,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Shadwell Stable;
B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Todd A.
Pletcher; J-John R. Velazquez. $372,000. 'TDN Rising Star'
Lifetime Record: Ch. 3-year-old filly, 13-9-3-1, $2,750,825.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or the
free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Army Wife, 124, f, 4, by Declaration of War
1st Dam: Tread, by Arch
2nd Dam: Scoot Yer Boots, by Seeking the Gold
3rd Dam: Whirl Series, by Roberto
($50,000 Ylg '19 FTKFEB; $190,000 2yo '20 OBSAPR).
O-Three Diamonds Farm; B-J D Stuart & AR Enterprises, Inc.
(KY); T-Michael J. Maker. $120,000.
3–Played Hard, 124, f, 4, by Into Mischief
1st Dam: Well Lived, by Tiznow
2nd Dam: Well Dressed, by Notebook
3rd Dam: Trithenia, by Gold Meridian
1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. ($280,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Rigney
Racing, LLC; B-Susan Casner (KY); T-Philip A. Bauer. $60,000.
Margins: 5 1/4, 3 1/4, 8 1/4. Odds: 0.44, 22.27, 4.14.
Also Ran: Letruska, Princess of Cairo.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.