02/18/2017 3:31PM

Curlin's Approval has no problem with two turns in Royal Delta

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Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photos
Curlin's Approval paid $3.60 to win the Royal Delta at Gulfstream on Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Marty Wolfson and owner-breeder Happy Alter never had any doubt that Curlin’s Approval would stay two turns. The problem was finding just the right time to stretch her out.

That time came Saturday, at Gulfstream Park in the Grade 2 Royal Delta, and Curlin’s Approval left no doubt the farther the better. After dominating five other fillies and mares, she drew off to a convincing 5 1/2-length decision over Mo’ Green with Eskenformoney finishing another five lengths farther back in third.

Curlin’s Approval, a 4-year-old daughter of Curlin, also benefitted from a perfectly judged ride by Luis Saez, stalking a modest early pace set by Verve’s Tale, who went 24.53 and 48.74 for the opening quarter and half-mile of the 1 1/16-mile Royal Delta. Curlin’s Approval readily took command approaching the three-eighths pole, settled into the stretch with a comfortable advantage, and was never threatened thereafter to post her second straight win this season following her easy victory in the Grade 3, seven-furlong Hurricane Bertie just three weeks earlier.

Mo’ Green raced well-placed and was easily second-best while never menacing the winner down the lane. Eskenformoney, who defeated Curlin’s Approval when they last met in the Grade 3 Rampart here Dec. 17, got hung wide around the opening bend and was never a serious factor.

Curlin’s Approval completed the distance in 1:44.90 over a bit of a cuppy track and paid $3.60.

“I don’t think there was ever a doubt she could go two turns,” Wolfson said. “The ship to Kentucky (for the Raven Run) last fall took something out of her, but since she’s gotten back she’s put on a little weight and just gotten better and better.  And Luis (Saez) fits her great.”

Wolfson said Curlin’s Approval will definitely remain around two turns and that she deserves a chance against Grade 1 company, mentioning the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn as a potential spot for her next start.

“One thing I do know, she’ll get a little break, have at least five weeks off before she runs again,” he said.