07/24/2013 4:08PM

Saratoga: Transparent aims for first stakes win in Curlin

Barbara D. Livingston
Transparent enters Friday’s Curlin Stakes off a 10 3/4-length allowance win in April.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – When Transparent won a first-level allowance race by 10 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct on April 4, there was no doubt that he was headed for a stakes race in his next start.

It’s taken 113 days to get there, but after dealing with some minor issues, Transparent gets his stakes opportunity in Friday’s $100,000 Curlin Stakes, the featured event on a 10-race card at Saratoga.

Transparent will take on seven rivals – including his Darley Stable entrymate Romansh – in the 1 1/8-mile Curlin, which could be used as a prep for the $1 million Travers on Aug. 24.

Transparent, a son of 2006 Travers winner Bernardini, kept good company in maiden races last fall in New York, running against the likes of Orb, Freedom Child, and Revolutionary. He eventually won a maiden race by 5 3/4 lengths over Aqueduct’s inner track Jan. 26 before finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Gotham, where he had some traffic trouble entering the first turn. He rebounded with his breakthrough allowance win, which looked more like a public workout than a race.

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Transparent was being pointed to the Peter Pan Stakes on May 11 but had some unspecified issues that kept him out.

“It was just one little thing after another,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said he believes Transparent is doing well now, adding, “If we run our race, we’re the one to beat.”

Transparent breaks from post 2 under Irad Ortiz Jr.

Bad Hombre enters the Curlin off a first-level allowance win going a one-turn mile at Belmont on July 6. His trainer, John Kimmel, asked jockey Junior Alvarado whether he should stretch him out to 1 1/8 miles or cut him back to seven furlongs.

“He said, ‘I don’t think he’ll have a problem going a mile and an eighth. He’s very rateable, and when I asked him, he gave me a very good kick, and he galloped out strong,’ ” Kimmel said.

Though it was Alvarado who suggested that McLaughlin remove blinkers from Transparent’s equipment four starts back, and it was Alvarado who suggested to Kimmel to stretch out Bad Hombre in distance. Alvarado rides Romansh in the Curlin. Alvarado had committed to that horse after guiding him to a 5 1/2-length maiden win at Belmont on May 25.

John Velazquez will ride Bad Hombre from post 3.

Edge of Reality, a son of Lawyer Ron, seeks his third consecutive victory, all for trainer Tony Dutrow and the Elkstone Group. Dutrow stopped on Edge of Reality after a bad effort in the slop at Gulfstream on Feb. 16, and the horse has responded with three solid efforts at Parx.

“I was disappointed by his race in Florida, but I’m not going to give up on the horse,” Dutrow said. “I like the horse. I decided to freshen him up, start over, and he’s been very good. The horse is at the top of his game. I’m hopeful he continues to go forward.”

Rosie Napravnik rides Edge of Reality from post 8.

Completing the field are Proud Strike, a recent allowance winner at Churchill Downs; Cerro, the winner of the Canonero II Stakes at Pimlico; Midnight Taboo; and Keg Party.