It wasn’t a smooth trip but CURLIN’S VOYAGE was awarded the win in the Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine Saturday after Skygaze, who crossed the finish line first, was disqualified.

The 1 1/16 mile race on Tapeta for 2-year-old fillies was worth $145,250 and looked to be in the bag for Tracy Farmer’s strong filly Skygaze, from the first crop of the great Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. But the Mark Casse trainee drifted out in the stretch causing Curlin’s Voyage, an Ontario bred for Hill ‘n Dale Equine Holdings and Windsor Boys Racing to steady off heels.
Skygaze powered on for a clear victory while Curlin’s Voyage tried to re-rally inside of the winner in the late stages.

The stewards hung up the inquiry sign immediately after Skygaze hit the wire in a time 1:43.30 for the 1 1/16-mile race for two-year-old fillies. They were looking into not only the stretch incident but also the run around the first turn, when Skygaze dropped over sharply and forced Take Charge Eh, well back in third, to take up.

Eurico Rosa da Silva, aboard even-money shot Curlin’s Voyage, and David Moran, rider of third-place finisher Take Charge Eh, also lodged claims of foul and the stewards upheld both complaints, with Skygaze being placed third.

Ridden hard from the gate by Jerome Lermyte, Skygaze took the lead into the backstrtech but dropped in on take Charge Eh who steadied. Skygaze maintained command through a quarter in :23.87 and a half in :48.20, and six furlongs in 1:12.66 while pressed by Take Charge Eh and longshot Glorious Gizmo.

Take Charge Eh had taken a seat on the rail with Curlin’s Voyage poised to strike from fourth on the outside.

“I think this filly is still very immature,” said Curlin’s Voyage’s conditioner Josie Carroll. “She’s still figuring out how to run, as you saw down the lane when that horse sort of came in front of her and it took her a long time to get her momentum back. She’s still figuring it all out.”

Curlin’s Voyage launched her move around the final turn and came to the hind end of the leader when Skygaze veered out.

Take Charge Eh ended another 5 ¼ lengths back in third prior to be moving up to the runner-up spot, with Special Honor closing from last in the field of six to grab fourth money. Roman d’Oro and Glorious Gizmo completed the order of finish.

While Skygaze had her miscues, Curlin’s Voyage’s trainer Josie Carroll also believes her youngster has some learning to do.

“I think she settled better than the last time, but I think she’s still a filly with a bright future that has a lot to figure out.”

Curlin’s Voyage became the 13th stakes winner of the meeting for leading rider Da Silva.

A homebred who races for Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings Inc., and Windsor Boys Racing, Curlin’s Voyage was making her fourth career start and coming off an impressive maiden win at 1 mile and 70 yards. The Ontario-bred filly’s first two outings came in sprint stakes, as she ran third in the Shady Well after debuting with a second-place finish against males in the Victoria.

Her dam Atlantic Voyage, a debut winner in a turf sprint at Belmont, is the dam of one other winner, Woodbine sprinter Brass Compass.

A logical spot for the Curlin-Atlantic Voyage filly’s next engagement would be the $225,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes, a 1 1/16 mile race restricted to Canadian-bred two-year-old fillies here October 26.

“Certainly that’s a race that I’m sure we’ll be looking at,” said Carroll. “(Hill ‘n’ Dale master) John Sikura breeds such a good horse that it would be really nice to get something like that done for him.”

Curlin’s Voyage returned $4.20, $2.70 and $2.30 and fronted a $17.60 3-1 exactor with 7-1 chance Take Charge Eh ($5.70, $3.80). Skygaze ($3), the 2-1 second choice, completed a 3-1-2 exacta of $44.30 with Special Honor rounding out a 3-1-2-5 superfecta worth $51.15 for $1.


~ with files from Woodbine media