December 26, 2022 - Santa Anita, Race 4, Msw, USD $67,000, 6F
Faustin, C, 2, 2020 by Curlin
1st Dam: Hard Not to Like (Hard Not to Like (MGISW-US, SW-Can, $1,262,171)), by Hard Spun
2nd Dam: Like a Gem, by Tactical Cat
3rd Dam: Its A Ruby, by Rubiano
Owner: Michael Lund Peterson
Breeder: DATTT Farm LLC
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Things didn't look especially promising for those who crunched Michael Lund Petersen's Faustin (c, 2, Curlin-Hard Not to Like, by Hard Spun) into 90 cents on the dollar in the early stages of the first juvenile test of the new meet at Santa Anita Monday afternoon. But the gunmetal gray colt did his best work through the line to graduate by open lengths and become a new 'TDN Rising Star.'
The March foal was not off to the most alert of beginnings and was no better than midfield and under a very busy ride from Ramon Vazquez as the quarter went up in :21.67. Still cajoled along on the turn, but able to make some headway towards the inside, Faustin advanced to be fourth behind a wall of three rivals as they hit the top of the lane. Hooked wide, with stablemate Sonoran (Ride On Curlin) to catch entering the final furlong, he raced a bit greenly while gathering that one up and strode home to score by a widening 2 3/4-length margin.
Led out unsold on a bid of $285,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale, Faustin breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 flat and was hammered down to Petersen's agent Donato Lanni for $800,000 at OBS this past April. Faustin, who outworked 99 others to earn the half-mile bullet (:46 4/5 from the gate) Dec. 10, is the 23rd 'Rising Star' for Curlin.
A homebred for Hillsbrook Farm and trained by Michael Matz, Hard Not to Like upset the 2014 GI Jenny Wiley S. and was purchased by Speedway Stables for $1.5 million out of that year's Keeneland November sale. Turned over to Christophe Clement, she thrived at five, winning this track's GI Gamely S. and the GI Diana S. before DATTT Farm purchased her for $2.2 million at KEENOV in 2016. Hard Not to Like's foals have been market darlings, her last four having sold for at least a half-million dollars, including her yearling filly by Quality Road that was purchased by Japan's Koji Maeda for $500,000 at Keeneland this past September. Her last listed produce is a weanling colt by Constitution.
Faustin is bred on the exact same cross as champion and successful young sire Good Magic and additional graded winners Irish War Cry and Cordmaker.