Curlin Takes to Grass
At the age of four and with career earnings of over $9.3 million, Curlin has established himself has one of the top racehorses that has ever hit the horse racing industry. He has conquered and achieved greatness throughout his twelve start career, but is now moving onto new territory, namely turf. Trainer, Steve Asmussen, had already indicated that the next move in Curlin’s career would be towards the Gran Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and it seems that everything is going according to plan.
On Tuesday, the 1st of July 2008, Curlin was taken out onto the turf racecourse at Churchill Downs by jockey Robby Albarado. Not being sure how Curlin would respond to the new environment, stable mate Hawaii Calls went out with him, ridden by Carlos Rosas. Hawaii Calls was brought in to set the pace for Curlin while exercising on the grass for the first time, and as always, Curlin handled the new change in his routine like the champion he is.
Without showing any fear or discomfort, Curlin galloped out behind Hawaii Calls, looking confident in each stride, and when brought up head to head with his stable mate, he showed his well known aggressive competitiveness, which indicated to both jockey and trainer that Curlin was relaxed and enjoying every moment of his exercise. Walking back to the stables, Curlin had a spring in his step and projected his usual playful side. The next hurdle to overcome will be to ensure that Curlin is comfortable with running clockwise around the track, as all racing in North America is run anti-clockwise and that is what Curlin has become accustomed to.
Curlin has been leaving horse racing fans and spectators breathless with his last few performances which have included, winning the $5 Million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the $6 Million Dubai World Cup, the $750 000 Jockey Club Gold Cup and the $1 Million Stephen Foster Handicap. Steve Asmussen is hoping to race Curlin in either the $500 000 Man O’War or the $200 000 Arlington Handicap as a warm up to the Grand Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and if everything goes according to schedule, Curlin will be on his way to Paris to settle in and get ready for the 5th of October 2008.