Virginia-bred Proud Strike comes north after a win in a Churchill Downs 8.5 furlong allowance to try the $100,000 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga today.

A maiden winner in his third start, Proud Strike was never far from the front in his two other attempts, finishing second and third. It took a route of distance for the colt to show his true potential, winning by 7 1/2 lengths in January 2013.

Bred by Edward P. Evans, the bay son of Smart Strike, collected $24,660 for the victory and improved his bankroll to $66,073. His record now stands at two wins, one second and one third from seven career starts.

Asmussen briefly considered a Triple Crown run with Proud Strike but a dull effort in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn prompted the trainer to back off sighting the colt’s immaturity.

Sold for $240,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2011, Proud Strike is owned by Mike McCarty.  Proud Strike is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr

He is full brother to Grade 3 winner Virginia-bred Champion Pleasant Strike and comes from the same family as Horse of the Year Saint Liam.

Coupled Transparent (FL) and Romansh (KY) make up the morning line favorite at 5-2 while Proud Strike drops in 3-1 in the pre-race odds.   The Curlin goes off at 4:47 pm as the 8th race on the card.

To see the entries, click here.

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