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Curlin’s Approval Fires Bullet Ahead of Royal Delta

Feb 8, 2018
One-Mile Stakes Draws 17 Nominees for Presidents Day Card Feb. 19

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Multiple graded-stakes winner Curlin’s Approval returned to the work tab with a bullet five-furlong breeze Thursday morning over Gulfstream Park’s main track in anticipation of defending her title in the $200,000 Royal Delta (G3).

Curlin’s Approval heads 17 nominees to the Royal Delta for fillies and mares 4 and older, shortened from 1 1/16 miles to one mile this year, which serves to highlight a special Presidents Day holiday program Monday, Feb. 19.

Under jockey Edgard Zayas, Curlin’s Approval was timed in 58.13 seconds in her first breeze since finishing a gutsy second to 59-1 long shot Jordan’s Henny in the seven-furlong Hurricane Bertie (G3) Jan. 27. It was the fastest of six works at the distance.

“I was very pleased with it,” breeder, co-owner and trainer Happy Alter said. “The race comes up pretty soon, so I wanted to get one nice breeze in because the blowout will be close to the race. She was alone and off the rail and did it within herself.”

Zayas, aboard Curlin’s Approval for her victory in the Barely Even Stakes Oct. 1 at Gulfstream, will get a return call with regular rider Luis Saez out of town for the day. The 5-year-old daughter of Hall of Famer Curlin rolled to a six-length victory in last year’s Royal Delta.

“She holds her weight good and she stays on top of her game,” Alter said. “There’s more to her than in that last race but we’ll have to wait and see. I’m optimistic about her chances.”

Also nominated to the Royal Delta are Jordan’s Henny; Uruguayan Group 1 winner Giulia; Canadian classic winner Holy Helena, who returned from a layoff to win her turf debut in a one-mile allowance Feb. 4 at Gulfstream; Lewis Bay, front-running winner of the one-mile Rampart (G3) in her first start in 13 months; California-based Mended, who had a 10-race win streak snapped when second by a head in the La Canada (G2) Jan. 13 in her graded debut; Grade 3 winners Rich Mommy, Unbridled Mo and Verve’s Tale.

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