Commanding Curve <br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Commanding Curve
Order This Photo

Anne M. Eberhardt

Commanding Curve Breezes at Churchill Downs

West Point Thoroughbreds' runner seeks to upset California Chrome's Triple Crown bid.

West Point Thoroughbreds' Commanding Curve, second in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) last out, breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs May 23 as he continues to prepare for the upcoming Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Working in company with Dallas Stewart stablemate Perfect Title, Commanding Curve posted fractions of :12 2/5, :24 3/5, :36 3/5, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 2/5.

The Master Command ridgling posted the co-third-fastest time of :59 4/5 among 25 horses working the distance over a fast track.

A fast-closing runner-up at 37-1 odds in the Kentucky Derby by 1 3/4 lengths to California Chrome, Commanding Curve is scheduled to ship to New York May 28. He is to work once more at Belmont Park prior to the 1 1/2-mile Belmont.

Commanding Curve was held out of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and will be among the fresh shooters taking aim at California Chrome  June 7 as he attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

"I think he'll be fine to handle the distance," Stewart said. "He had a great work today, he's fit and I think the distance will fit him just fine.

"There are going to be some nice horses in there. Of course California Chrome is a really nice horse and will obviously be the favorite. Ride On Curlin  is another solid horse in there that will be tough.

"We'll need a good trip. He needs to be close at the quarter pole. Approaching the quarter pole having only one or two horses beat probably won't get it done. He needs to be a little closer and just have nice positioning turning for home."

Purchased by West Point for $75,000 from the Eddie Woods consignment to the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training, Commanding Curve has a maiden win and four placings in seven starts, with earnings of $542,434.