Stud Notes: Curlin and Exaggerator
Exaggerator's victory in the Grade 1 Preakness S. moved his sire, Curlin, to number five on the leading sires list, supplanting Bernardini and marking him as the super successful sire that 2015 and this year have demonstrated he has developed into, and justifying his $100,000 stud fee. Curlin stands at Hill 'n' Dale Farms in Lexington, Kentucky, though his current success is due fully to the crops of mares that Lane's End Farm brought his way; he moved from Lane's End to Hill 'n' Dale this year, when Hill 'n' Dale acquired an interest in the stallion. Curlin stood for as little as $25,000 while at Lane's End, before his early crops achieved what had been expected of them at the track. This is only his fifth crop to race, and he has already sired a Belmont winner, Palace Malice, a Travers winner, Keen Ice, and now Preakness hero Exaggerator. His daughters Curalina and Stellar Wind are both Grade 1 winners as well.
Exaggerator is out of the Vindication mare Dawn Raid. It should be noted that Stellar Wind also hails from the Seattle Slew broodmare line, as she is out of a Malibu Moon mare; surely this is an important nick to watch for Curlin, who also seems to love added strains of Deputy Minister or Vice Regent in mares. Trained and ridden by the Desormeaux brothers, Exaggerator is
owned by a vast array of partners,including Big Chief Racing, LLC; Head of Plains Partners, LLC; and Rocker O Ranch, LLC, and was bred in Kentucky by Joseph B. Murphy. His earnings are $2,971,120, and his race record for 11 starts includes five wins, three seconds, and a third. This was the first time he was able to best Kentucky Derby-G1 victor Nyquist, who suffered from a record setting first quarter while in the lead, and perhaps from illness (as he has, today, spiked a low fever).
Kudos as well to Winstar Farm, in Versailles, Kentucky, which has already acquired Exaggerator's stud duties upon his retirement. A big, handsome, masculine horse like his father, though without Curlin's flashy chestnut coat and socks, he will undoubtedly be a popular choice when he enters stud, with a ready made advertising slogan—something like, “without exaggeration, the best three year old of 2016...” Trainer Keith Desormeaux revealed during the Preakness broadcast that he named the horse after his girlfriend, who, he says, exaggerates everything; the horse's success may be the only reason she's prepared to forgive him for suggesting she's a drama queen.