07/08/2008 11:00PM

'Curls' looks to validate debut win

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Curls and Pearls is expected to be favored in Friday's $50,000 Princess Margaret following an impressive debut in which she overcame several obstacles to defeat highly regarded male rival Robo Willie by a length.

Joan Petrowski, who trains Alberta's 2007 horse of the year Footprint, may have another good one on her hands if that opening effort is any indication.

Curls and Pearls, a 2-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Langfuhr, spotted the field several lengths following a tardy start and was boxed in entering the final turn of her opener.

When rider Real Simard found running room, Curls and Pearls rallied with a visually impressive run and completed the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:07 flat, an excellent clocking for a 2-year-old.

The six-furlong Princess Margaret attracted eight fillies, and the only other rival with a race past 3 1/2 furlongs is Feisty Devil, who closed well for second going 5 1/2 furlongs here last Saturday.

Critical Choice, the only entrant to have made two starts, was third twice going 3 1/2 furlongs at Hastings.

There is speed to run at, with both Bodgits Lady and Ladee Judee coming off front-running tallies at 3 1/2 furlongs in their debuts.

Twelve Kies ran evenly in her 3 1/2-furlong debut and should appreciate stretching out for trainer Greg Tracy, who has dominated the juvenile stakes here the past two summers.