Breeze Easy and John Oxley’s Curlin’s Honor found his best stride late, rallying up the rail under Joel Rosario to capture Saturday’s $150,000 Artie Schiller, a one-mile inner turf test for 3-year-olds and upwards at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Mark Casse, the 4-year-old Curlin chestnut hit the board in five-consecutive graded stakes at Woodbine Racetrack ahead of a last-out score in an optional-claiming turf test on October 6 at the Etobicoke, Ontario oval.
Rosario rated Curlin’s Honor patiently in eighth position as Grade 1 winner Voodoo Song took over from Abiding Star to reach three-quarters in 1:11.27. Caribou Club vacated the rail to take command at the stretch call, but there would be no denying a furious rail run from Curlin’s Honor, who got up to win by a neck in a final time of 1:35.11 on the firm turf. Caribou Club completed the exacta by three lengths over 2-1 mutuel favorite Frontier Market.
Curlin’s Honor opened his campaign with an off-the-board effort in the main track Stymie on March 9 at the Big A. Assistant trainer Jamie Begg said the colt has thrived since committing to turf.
“He looks like a dirt horse. We came in the winter for the Stymie and it came up tough, but it was the last try [on dirt],” said Begg. “Last year, he ran at Belmont going seven-eighths [on turf in the Paradise Creek] and just lost to Gidu. We thought maybe a flat mile on the grass was his cup of tea. It seemed to work out and Joel knew how the race was going to set up for him. He made a good plan and executed it perfectly.”
Curlin’s Honor, bred in Florida by Miller Racing, banked $82,500 in victory while improving his record to 5-3-4 from 16 starts.