October 28, 2021

Sally’s Curlin makes the grade in Chilukki Stakes

Sally's Curlin wins the Chilukki Stakes
Sally's Curlin (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

Daughters of Curlin were dominant in the $200,000 Chilukki (G3) at Churchill Downs, with Sally’s Curlin charging late to pass 8-5 favorite Mylady Curlin late in the one-mile race.

Sally’s Curlin, an up-and-coming three-year-old trained by Dale Romans, started as the 9-5 second choice after rattling off back-to-back allowance wins at Ellis Park and Churchill Downs. Under a patient ride from veteran Churchill jockey Corey Lanerie, Sally’s Curlin rated at the back of the six-horse field early on, as many as 8 1/2 lengths behind front-running longshot Cairenn. Mylady Curlin, always prominent, tracked the pacestetter through fractions of :23.39, :46.47, and 1:10.89.

In the homestretch, Mylady Curlin forged past Cairenn and appeared to be on her way to victory. But the favorite started weaving down the lane, drifting in and then out again as Sally’s Curlin burst into contention on the far outside. In the final furlong, the sophomore had all the momentum and cruised past Mylady Curlin to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:35.60.

Cairenn, who steadied slightly when Mylady Curlin drifted in, held on to finish third over She’s Pretty Lucky, while Chocolate Martini and Divine Queen trailed the field.

Conditioned by Dale Romans, Sally’s Curlin was bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and races for the partnership of CJ Thoroughbreds, Left Turn Racing, and Casner Racing. After losing her first four starts, Sally’s Curlin has now won four of her last five races, suffering her lone defeat when running far below form in the Indiana Oaks (G3) at Indiana Grand.

Later in the afternoon, Curlin’s son Vino Rosso made headlines with a victory in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita, capping a big day for the 15-year-old stallion. A two-time Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame inductee, Curlin stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Kentucky.

“She’s a fun horse to ride with her late-closing kick,” said Lanerie. “She has a very long run. Most horses have a quicker turn of foot but this horse sustains a strong run for a quarter of a mile.”