Curlin’s Fellow Competitors
The excitement for the Breeders’ Cup is slowly beginning to gain momentum. Horses are confirming their presence on race day, while punters make the agonizing decision on their favorite horse and trainers begin to think about strategies and starting positions. One of the most anticipated stars of the weekend is Curlin, and it seems that many horses are entering to take advantage of the fact that he is not a turf horse, and hope to beat him on the new synthetic surface at Santa Anita Park Racecourse.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic will be taking place on 25 October 2008, when Curlin will be defending his title. His owners and trainer, Steve Assmussen have been skeptical of their champion horse’s performance on the new Pro-Ride surface and had him shipped to Santa Anita Park Racecourse earlier in the month to monitor his performance and comfort on the track. Not only will Curlin be faced with the challenge of running on a surface he does not usually perform on, but he will have a field of contenders that has never been this strong. It is set to be a show down of historical proportions.
Curlin will be in the starting gates with thirteen other contenders, of which three are the top turf horses at present. Raven’s Pass has shown his strength and talent in his last few racing events and the names, Henrythenavigator and Duke of Marmalade are no strangers to the horse racing industry. Aiden O’Brian has brought the best of the best to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and if they were not enough to worry about, the magnificent Casino Drive has also been gearing up to take on the 2007 Horse of the Year. Colonel John, Pacific Classic and Go Between will also join the star studded line-up, as will Student Council, Well Armed, Pyro, Tiago, Champs Elysee, Mast Track and Smooth Air.
Post positions for all the racing events for the Breeders’ Cup will be drawn on Tuesday, 21 October 2008, and contenders will be finalized. Steve Asmussen commented that Curlin had done well in his training sessions on the Pro-Ride surface and that exercise rider, Carlos Rosas, was happy with Curlin’s performance. If Curlin remains as comfortable as he has been in his training, he should be able to give all the competitors a run for their money.