The baby blue and black silks of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners will be displayed by Battier at Del Mar on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday ETP has two two-year-old fillies in action. Curalina makes her racing debut at Saratoga and Desert Steel will be in action at Del Mar.
Battier, a four-year-old son of Tale of the Cat, out of action since February, returns in the $200,000 The San Diego Handicap-G2. Battier won the $75,000 Fit to Fight S. at Aqueduct in April of 2013. He has knocked on the door several times since but has not been admitted into the winner’s circle. Battier achieved third place finishes in the $83,000 Gygistar S. at Belmont last April and the $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S.-G3 at Saratoga last August.
He also finished third in the $1,000,000 Pennsylvania Derby-G2 at Philadelphia Park in September beaten only 2 ½ lengths by Three-Year-Old Champion Will Take Charge. Trained by Michael McCarthy, Battier will travel one mile and one-sixteenth and be ridden by Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes-winning jockey Victor Espinoza at 5:30 PT.
At Saratoga on Sunday, Eclipse’s two-year-old filly Curalina will launch her racing career in the third race covering six furlongs at 2:02 ET. Curalina was a 2013 Keeneland September yearling purchase. This daughter of Curlin is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by Joel Rosario. Curlin’s most famous son, Palace Malice, broke his maiden as a two-year-old at Saratoga almost two years ago to the day. Curalina has trained like a filly with talent but so have all the two-year-olds that make their debuts at Saratoga! The ETP team does anticipate she will fulfill our expectations of putting forth a solid effort.
Desert Steel, a California-bred two-year-old filly by Desert Code, will make her third career start racing in the second at Del Mar Sunday at 2:30 PT. Since finishing second and fourth back in May, Desert Steel has trained for Simon Callaghan like a filly ready to get her picture taken in the winner’s circle. She will cover five furlongs over the Polytrack (a surface we believe she will excell over) and be ridden by Tyler Baze. The race is restricted to California-bred or sired fillies.