Pricey Curlin Colt Finishes Fast at Belmont

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1st-Belmont, $90,000, Msw, 4-24, 3yo/up, 7f, 1:23.56, ft, 3/4 length.
FIRST CAPTAIN (c, 3, Curlin–America {GSW & MGISP, $580,532}, by A.P. Indy) re-rallied late to kick his career off with a promising victory in the Belmont opener Saturday. The $1.5-million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga '19 co-topper and first foal out of GSW and MGISP America was let go at 3-1 off a 9-5 morning line here for the typically patient Shug McGaughey. He broke cleanly enough, and moved up to track from the pocket behind favored fellow firster Mahaamel (Into Mischief)–a $700,000 KEESEP yearling for Shadwell and Todd Pletcher out of the GSW Hot Stones (Bustin Stones). First Captain was shuffled back a bit approaching the turn as another foe went for an early run and challenged for the lead. He seemed to have horse as he waited for a seam, and tipped out into the clear at the head of the lane as Mahaamel fought back to take command once again. Mahaamel looked liked a winner in midstretch as First Captain appeared to be idling a bit, but the latter soon found another gear and finished with a flourish to get up by 3/4 of a length.

Breeder and co-owner Bobby Flay's entry point into First Captain's prolific family was via the colt's stakes-placed second dam Lacadena (Fasliyev), who he purchased privately after she RNA'd for $1.4 million at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton November sale. Lacadena's dam is a half-sister to none other than Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour (Deputy Minister), the second dam of another McGaughey-trained stand-out sophomore in GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. and GIII Holy Bull S. hero Greatest Honour (Tapit). America went on to take the 2015 GIII Turnback the Alarm H. after hitting the board in both the GI Mother Goose S. and GI Delaware H. The $725,000 KEESEP '12 RNA was bought back for $3.1 million at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton November sale carrying an Uncle Mo colt. She had produced a full sister to First Captain earlier that year and foaled another Curlin filly this Feb. 28.

The family got even stronger last year when Paris Lights (Curlin), out of America's half-sister Paris Bikini (Bernardini), took the GI Coaching Club American Oaks. Paris Lights annexed the GIII Distaff H. in her first start of the year at Aqueduct Apr. 2. Flay sold Lacadena for $1.3 million in foal to Bernardini at the 2015 Keeneland November sale, and Paris Bikini to WinStar for $425,000 at KEEJAN '16. Paris Bikini brought $1.95 million in foal to Uncle Mo at last year's FTKNOV. Sales history: $1,500,000 Ylg '19 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $49,500. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O-West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm LLC, Bobby Flay & Woodford Racing, LLC; B-B. Flay Thoroughbreds (KY); T-Claude R. McGaughey III.

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