Sunday, March 30, 2008
I would like to take some credit for highlighting Curlin even before he won the Preakness. In actual fact Curlin should have easily won the Triple Crown if not for some bad luck. Still, the horse gained momentum after that and less than a year later was named USA's Horse of The year - if only my stock tips were that good (yes, I know, Evergreen mah...).
Curlin is ready to defend his U.S. Horse of the Year title against the rest of the world in the Dubai World Cup today.
"He's an exceptional horse," Curlin's assistant trainer Scott Blasi said on Friday, the day before Curlin takes on 12 challengers in the US$6 million (€3.8 million) race at Nad Al Sheba racetrack. "It's a big opportunity for us to show the world what a great horse he really is."
Curlin enters the world's richest race having won his last three races — the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Breeders' Cup Classic and the Jaguar Trophy Stakes at Nad al SHeba. Among those lining up against Curlin in the highlight of the seven-race, US$21.2 million (€13.4 million) event will be local favorite Jalil, owned by Dubai Sheik Mohammed. The 4-year-old colt purchased for US$9.7 million (€6.1 million) has won three in a row, including the Maktoum Challenge on March 6. Frankie Dettori will be aboard. Curlin leaves from the No. 12 post — which has yet to produce a World Cup winner — while U.S. rival A.P. Arrow will break from the No. 13 gate under Ramon Dominguez. The 6-year-old horse won the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs and ran second in the Donn Handicap, a race that has produced several World Cup winners. Curlin has won seven of 10 races and earned US$5.2 million (€3.3 million).
With a victory, Curlin would join Cigar and Pleasantly Perfect as the only horses to win the BC Classic and World Cup the next year. The field also includes Sway Yed, Well Armed, Happy Boy, Kocab, Great Hunter, Premium Tap, Vermilion, Asiatic Boy, Lucky Find and Gloria de Campeao. While six horses were bred in the United States, the field also includes two from South Africa (Sway Yed and Lucky Find), two from Brazil (Happy Boy and Gloria de Campeao), one from England (Kocab), one from Japan (Vermilion) and one from Argentina (Asiatic Boy). PremiumTap was runner-up to Invasor in last year's World Cup. The 6-year-old horse is owned by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. Asiatic Boy won last year's UAE Derby and is owned by Dubai's Sheik Khalifa . The plan for Vermillion, winner of four Group I races in Japan and fourth in the 2007 World Cup, is to stalk Curlin and see what happens.
Result Of The Richest Race: Curlin jumped well but had to sit 3-wide all the way, kicked away with 350m to go winning by an ever lengthening margin of about 6 lengths in the end. Jockey Albarado stopped using the whip in the last 100m. That's as easy as you can get running against the world' top horses.
To watch the race, click on link below and look for Race 3 (Overseas).