Thursday, October 09, 2008
Curlin Works Monday Between Races
CURLIN TO GET SERIOUS BETWEEN RACES ON MONDAY, WILL WORK 5 FURLONGS FOR $5 MILLION CLASSIC
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2008)—Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin will get serious at Santa Anita Park this Monday, as he will work 5 furlongs over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic main track between races. The work, which will be performed in company with another Steve Asmussen trainee, has been scheduled between races four and five and it is expected he will be pre-entered on Tuesday for a defense of his $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic title at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.
“Our biggest concern with Curlin is the difference in the way the track plays between morning and afternoon,” said assistant trainer Scott Blasi. “This is going to be a smooth 5/8 (mile) in company. We’ll come on the track up in the quarter-mile shoot and just jog-off from there and break-off at the 5/8 pole. He’ll be working with another horse of ours named Hawaii Calls.”
Curlin arrived at Santa Anita the day after winning the Gr. I, 1 ¼ miles Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in New York on Sept. 27, and he had his first workout since the race this past Monday, drilling a half mile in 52.80, breezing.
“His serious work here at Santa Anita will be on Monday,” said Blasi. “It’ll be a normal 5/8 work. We’re not looking for anything real fast, but it’ll be done the way we do things in company.”
Beyond Monday’s drill, Blasi said, “Everything else with his training will be routine. That’s what we’re looking for right now.”
Blasi said that Curlin will be handled by his regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas, and that his workmate, Hawaii Calls, would “most likely have a jock.”
Blasi noted that his intention for Curlin on Monday is to exit Santa Anita’s one-mile oval the same way he enters, in the quarter-mile shoot at the top of the stretch.
Should Curlin start in the Classic on Oct. 25, a much-anticipated showdown for 2008 Horse of the Year honors would be finalized with this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown.
As was the case this past Monday, Asmussen is expected to fly in from his Texas base to oversee Curlin’s work. “Everything we have here for the Breeders’ Cup will breeze on Monday,” said Blasi. “I expect Steve will fly in Sunday evening and be here Monday morning to watch all these horses go.”
Among those scheduled to work Monday morning for Asmussen are 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Pyro and multiple Gr. I winner Student Council.
Breeders’ Cup 25, a two day event, will be run at Santa Anita on Oct. 24 and 25. For ticket information, call (626) 254-1300.
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