Trainer Mark Casse unveiled a much-hyped juvenile in the finale of a blockbuster Saturday card at Keeneland and the youngster did not disappoint. CURLIN’S HONOR, who went postward as the 9-10 favorite in a full field, made his debut a winning one beneath Julien Leparoux, taking a head lead turning for home and posting a measured neck victory.
A $1.5 million two-year-old purchase this spring, the chestnut colt earned a solid 91 BRIS Speed figure after finishing well with a :24 1/5 final quarter-mile. Visually impressive colt had been working like a good one and ran to his morning drills, appearing to win with plenty left in the tank.
Curlin’s Honor looks like a very nice prospect for 2018.
When a horse brings such a lofty price at an in-training sale, it often means a lot of things. Among those, the colt or filly must look the part and vet well. In addition, the horse must be a very good mover and based upon his debut run, Curlin’s Honor has a fine stride. I loved how professional he was in the lane between runners and am not taking lightly how the colt never flinched despite a less-than-ideal voyage for a juvenile.
The Florida-bred is not from an especially powerful family. A half to a pair of listed stakes winners, one has to go a few generations down in his female family kin to find a graded stakes winner, with his second dam being a half-sister to Ogygian, a multiple Grade 1 winner who proved to be a modest sire. Curlin’s Honor’s sales tag was based more on the individual rather than the immediate family.
While it’s both way too early, and never too early, to start Kentucky Derby talk, I don’t think a debuting two-year-old can look much better than Curlin’s Honor did on Saturday. I think we are looking at a really nice youngster, one who was listed at 250-1 as of September 25 at Wynn Las Vegas for the 2018 Kentucky Derby. If you got down at that price, don’t lose the ticket!