07/09/2017 10:02AM

Curlish Figure makes statement with Shirley Vargo

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Curlish Figure established herself as the top older mare in Alberta with a 3 1/4-length victory over Quality Lane in the $75,000 Shirley Vargo at Northlands Park Saturday. She paid $4.

Curlish Figure broke a half-step slow in the 1 1/16-miles race for fillies and mares. Leading rider Rico Walcott allowed her to settle early before moving the 5-year-old daughter of Curlin into contention at the quarter-pole. She made a three-wide move around the stretch turn and drew off in the stretch to post a decisive victory.

Quality Lane held a narrow advantage over Smart Fix at the six-furlong mark, but couldn’t hold off the strong move by the winner. Port Protection finished third after stalking Smart Fix and Castellani through a moderate half-mile in :48.52 seconds.

The final time was 1:44.38.

Curlish Figure was making her first start at Northlands for trainer Tim Rycroft. She is owned by Riversedge Racing Stables.

Earlier on the card Killin Me Smalls, in an impressive display of speed and stamina, won the $50,000 Fred Jones Handicap. He paid $6.30 for his two-length victory over Royal Warrior.

With Keishan Balgobin aboard, Killin Me Smalls dueled with Blue Dancer through sprint-like fractions in the 1 1/16-miles race for 3-year-olds and up. They were lapped onto each other after a half-mile in 45.50 seconds and were still head and head after six furlongs in 1:10.28. Killin Me Smalls took control of the race at the top of the stretch and never looked threatened by Royal Warrior, who rallied from last. Blue Dancer held on to finish third.

The final time was 1:43.83

Killin Me Smalls is trained by Ernie Keller and owned by Ed Walsh.