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Curlin Colt Fights For ‘TDN Rising Star’ Honors




Fort Warren (c, 2, Curlin–La Appassionata, by Bernardini), a $550,000 yearling acquisition from Keeneland in September, endured the pressure throughout the race through fast inside splits and hung on late to graduate on the first Sunday at Santa Anita en route to the ‘TDN Rising Star’ distinction. He is the 22nd “Rising Star” for his top stallion based in Hill ‘n’ Dale.

Fairly far from the inside gate, Fort Warren had to be used by go-to runner Juan Hernandez, but crossed to resume the run and covered the first two furlongs in a slick: 21.75, with a second start Johannes (Nyquist) glued to his side. Climbing up the corner while maintaining a narrow advantage, Fort Warren still seemed to be slightly better than Johannes after a half in a test: 44.65, but this pair quickly had company in the form of the first good intentional. Shot planned (Hard Spun), who made a wide trip near the tail at the start before entering the race nicely, after covering significant ground in the corner. Fort Warren fended off Johannes’ challenge once and for all in the upper reaches, but Spun Intended refused to go down without a fight, as he bravely fought for every yard, to give up a long-necked decision.

“This horse, being by Curlin, they’re not supposed to have that kind of speed, but he’s a beautiful horse and we’re thrilled with him,” winning trainer Bob Baffert said. “It was a tough field…Having the single hole and having to go so fast early on and then he let that horse pass him. He showed a lot of courage.”

The colt of February 11 is the only product listed for his SW/GSP dam, a full sister to GSW Wilburn and a half to young Beethoven (Sky Mesa) and GSW dam Moonlight d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro), who sadly passed away after foaling Fort Warren in 2020. Moonlight Sonata, who won the GIII Arlington-Washington Lassie S. at 60-1 odds in 2002 for trainer Bill Helmbrecht, is also the dam of 1.1 million dollars KEESEP yearling AP Sonata (AP Indy), whose son Grand Sonata (Medaglia d’Oro) won this year’s GIII Kitten’s Joy S. for Whisper Hill Farm and finished third in the GII Hill Prince S. at Aqueduct. Stonestreet bought Moonlight Sonata for $750,000 carrying the filly that would become La Appassionata at Keeneland in November 2012. She is also the family of champion Abel Tasman (Quality Road).

Curlin’s crossbreeding with AP Indy-line mares has resulted in countless winners at the graduate level, and when bred specifically to Bernardini dams, Curlin is responsible for MGISW and GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff Hopeful Clairiere, GISW Paris Lights and other graduate winners Cézanne and “Rising Star” The spice is nice.

6th-Santa Anita, $62,500, Msw10-30, 2yrs, 6 1/2f, 1:15.92, ft, 1/2 length.
FORT WARREN, c, 2, by Curlin
1st dam: La Appassionata (SW & GSP, $162,920), by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Moonlight Sonata, by Carson City
3rd dam: Wheatly Way, near Wheatly Hall
Sales History: $550,000 Ylg ’21 KEESEP. Lifetime record: 1-1-0-0, $36,600. Click for it Chart Where VIDEO, sponsored by TVG. Click for it free catalog style pedigree.
O-SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC and Catherine Donovan; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert.