Team Valor Acquires Arlington 2-Year-Old Winner Tulira’s Star


Arlington International Racecourse juvenile maiden winner Tulira’s Star from owner Curtis Green and trainer Jimmy DiVito, according to Team Valor founder and CEO Barry Irwin. A daughter of the A. P. Indy stallion Congrats out of stakes-producing mare Tulira, Tulira‟s Star won by a widening 3 ½ lengths on Sunday, June 8, over 4½ furlongs on the main course. Her time of :52.36 was the quickest of four juvenile course and distance maiden special weights this season.

“We‟ve done well with this type of horse,” Irwin remarked. “She‟s a half to two stakes winners and if she can win a couple stakes, that would be great.” One of Tulira‟s Star‟s siblings is Tulira Castle, who won the Challenger Stakes on the Tampa Bay Downs turf this winter.

“Whatever she is going to do, she is going to do immediately,” Irwin continued. “If all goes well, we should be able to run her at least four or five times this year in good races. She doesn‟t have to win one for us to do well – if she can place we‟ll do fine. We‟ve bought six or seven like her and one time we got really lucky with Cashier‟s Dream, who won a Grade I at Saratoga.”

In 2001, Cashier‟s Dream was purchased after defeating future multiple Grade I winner You in a Churchill Downs allowance (You would coincidentally also be privately purchased out of the race) before winning the Grade III Debutante Stakes at Churchill and the Grade I Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga. She would race 4 times that season, including a runner-up to You in the Grade I Frizette, for Team Valor and co-owner Heiligbrodt Racing – earning $318,510 post-acquisition.

“What we do is watch the horse‟s race several times from many different angles,” Irwin explained. “Usually when a horse hits the wire and pulls up, its legs go all over the place – it‟s almost difficult to watch. Her action still continued straight-forward. I‟ve only seen that happen a few times. By the times she changed leads, when they let her down in the stretch, she only had
about six seconds to show her kick. And (La Grange) who finished second looks like a good filly too. If she were not in the race, (Tulira‟s Star) would have won by about eight lengths.”

As easily and smoothly as she won her debut, the bay filly seems to be winning over
Team Valor‟s syndicate investors with similar finesse. “We‟ve sold about 90% of her shares already,” Irwin said. “We have had no problem with that.”

Tulira‟s Star will now join Team Valor‟s U.S.-based private trainer Rick Mettee at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. “She‟ll leave on Monday and then we hope to run her opening day at Saratoga in the Schuylerville – a Grade III,” Irwin concluded.

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