07/29/2011 6:39PM

Saratoga: Turbo Compressor has easy time in Curlin

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Barbara D. Livingston
Turbo Compressor, with Javier Castellano riding, wins the Curlin.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Todd Pletcher doesn't really need any additional help to win stakes races, but he got some when his Turbo Compressor was surprisingly allowed to set a pedestrian pace en route to a 2 3/4-length victory over the 3-2 Raison d'Etat in Friday's Curlin Stakes at rainy Saratoga.

Turbo Compressor, a son of Halo's Image, broke alertly and found himself loose on the leads almost immediately after the start of the $75,000 Curlin. Jockey Javier Castellano took advantage of the situation, slowing the pace down to 24.70 seconds for the opening quarter, 49.67 for the half, and 1:14.60 for six furlongs over a damp but still fast main track.

Raison d'Etat raced within easy striking distance of the leader while kept a bit wide by jockey Eddie Castro, finally launching his bid approaching the stretch. But the slow pace allowed Turbo Compressor to have more than enough left in reserve to maintain a safe advantage when set down by Castellano for the final drive.

Raison d'Etat raced a bit greenly through the final furlong, ducking out and then in from a left- and then right-hand stick, but was still able to maintain a comfortable 5 1/4-length advantage over Prime Cut to finish second in a scratch-reduced field of six 3-year-olds. Point of Entry, Golden Gulch and Bold Warrior rounded out the complete while spread well out behind the winner.  

Turbo Compressor, who is owned by P & G Stables and Off the Hook Racing, posted his third win in six career starts. He was also third after contesting a much swifter pace last month in Monmouth's Grade 3 Pegasus. He completed nine furlongs in 1:51.12 and returned $15.20.

"We didn't anticipate being on the lead," said Pletcher. "But he broke great, some of the others we anticipated would show speed didn't, and Javier did a good job laying down kind fractions."
Pletcher said "everything is a possibility" when asked if Turbo Compressor might return in the Grade 1 Travers on Aug. 27.