Commanding Curve is best known for his runner up performance in the 2014 Kentucky Derby but his three year old campaign has otherwise been unimpressive. There may have been a reason for that–after a 9th place finish in the Travers he’s been shut down for the year due to bruising in his ankles. He’s expected to return to racing in 2015.
Commanding Curve definitely turned in his best effort on the biggest stage–the 2nd place finish in the Kentucky Derby is his best of the year. He wasn’t overly impressive on the Derby Trial trail with a 6th place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star and a 3rd place finish in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. After the Kentucky Derby he skipped the Preakness before returning in the Belmont Stakes and finishing 9th. Next up was a 4th place in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy before his disappointing 9th place finish in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on August 23.
West Point Thoroughbreds President Terry Finley suggested in a press release that the bruised ankles may have been a problem for quite some time and could explain Commanding Curve’s lackluster season. Finley says the decision to give the horse further examination came after he ‘didn’t fire in the Travers’ and is the reason why ‘he hasn’t been pushing off and has been so pokey in the early parts of his races lately’. Finley says that he’ll be ‘good as new’ after some rest and intimated that he’ll make his return during the Winter meet at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans which begins in November and runs through February 2015.
Commanding Curve’s trainer Dallas Stewart said that he was ‘relieved’ by the diagnosis and noted that ‘the horse never showed any lameness, but we wanted to cover all of our bases by sending him for a scan’. Stewart said that Commanding Curve will be ready to return to racing after 60 days of rest. That means he’ll be able to return to training in mid November which is right on schedule for a comeback race in early 2015. Commanding Curve’s career earnings are $572,434 and he’s hit the board 5 times in 10 career starts.