Curly Girl scores 24-1 upset in Lady Finger Stakes

Monday, September 27th, 2021

Curly Girl and Andre Worrie cruise to upset victory in Monday’s Lady Finger Stakes at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

Paul Barrow thought enough of Henry Steadman’s Curly Girl to send her on the 200-mile journey from Finger Lakes to Saratoga Race Course for her debut this summer.

The 2-year-old daughter of Nyquist didn’t disrespect herself, finishing fourth at 11-1 in the slop after a somewhat troubled start going 6 furlongs July 30. Off until Sept. 14, she returned with a win going 5 1/2 furlongs back home at Finger Lakes and 15 days later, in Monday’s $117,036 Lady Finger again at 6 furlongs, she became a stakes winner.

Under Andre Worrie and dismissed Monday as the fourth longest price in the field of nine New York-bred 2-year-old fillies at 24-1, Curly Girl came from off the pace to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Belmont Park shipper Belarus. Curly Girl won in 1:13.23.

Longshot Queens Dancer took the early lead ahead of a hustling Amore Fire and led that foe by a head through the opening splits of :22.27 and :46.42, with 6-5 favorite Midnight Vigilance and Belarus side-by-side tracking in third and fourth, respectively. Amore Fire poked her head in front after a half-mile, just as Belarus and jockey Javier Castellano tipped off the rail to make a three-wide run at the lead.

Curly Girl and Worrie produced the last – and winning – move in the lane and took command with a sixteenth to run. They drifted out a bit late but were well clear of Belarus, who finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Queens Dancer in third with Raymond Road fourth.

Curly Girl, who sold to Steadman for $50,000 as Hip 489 at the OBS March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training, collected $70,222 for her connections and padded her bankroll to $94,582. A $90,000 purchase by Quarter Pole Enterprises at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearling Showcase, Curly Girl is the third winner out of the winning Forest Wildcat mare Falconess, a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Spice Island from the family of Horse of the Year Spend a Buck.

Bred by Denlea Park LTD, foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson and from the second crop of champion 2-year-old and Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, Curly Girl is the fifth foal out of Falconess. Denlea Park bred Falconess, who sold as a weanling for $70,000 and as a yearling for $110,000 before winning one race in 14 starts.

Falconess later sold in foal to Congrats to Fred Hertrich III for $135,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale before eventually going through that same sale in foal to Tapizar and landing back with Denlea Park on a bid of $67,000. Falconess’ first New York-bred foal, the 2018 Orb gelding Polpis, is 1-2-2 in nine starts with $33,290 in earnings and Curly Girl is her second foaled in the Empire State.

Falconess is also the dam of a colt by Flatter born Jan. 29 and she was bred to Bernardini during the 2021 season.

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