The work was performed in company, as Curlin and stablemate Hawaii Calls came onto Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic main track at the top of the stretch in the quarter-mile chute. Curlin, with exercise rider Carlos Rosas up, and Hawaii Calls, with top jockey Shaun Bridgmohan aboard, jogged under the wire and then galloped to the 5/8 pole, where Hawaii Calls broke off from the rail two lengths in front of Curlin.
Pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be taken Tuesday morning.
“The bottom line is, we want to check him in the morning and make sure his legs are fine,” said Jackson. “Usually if there’s any injury, it would show up the next day. We hope to be able to enter him in the morning.”
“I’m extremely pleased with the way he worked and galloped out,” said Asmussen. “Carlos let him gallop out a quarter mile and let him pull up. He was strong at every pole.
“I just checked him at the barn, and he seems good. He’s breathing well, and to this point we’re extremely pleased. Tomorrow is pre-entry day and we’ll make a decision then.”
Curlin arrived at Santa Anita on Sept. 28, the day after taking the Gr. I, 1 1/4 miles Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park for the second consecutive year, and in so doing, surpassing the $10-million mark in career earnings, becoming North America’s all-time leading Thoroughbred money-earner.
“His consistency and durability is something that separates him. It’s amazing for him to look like he does after making $10 million,” Asmussen said. “We take a great amount of pride in him, and to see all the people here react like they did to him today…that’s how we all feel about him back at the barn.”
Jackson also marveled at Curlin’s ability to adapt to different conditions.
“To be here in a different climate approximately 3,000 miles from where he was and the fact that he’s been to Dubai (won the $5-million Dubai World Classic on March 29)…he’s demonstrated tremendous adaptability. Winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic is the cherry on the sundae as far as I’m concerned,” said Jackson.
Curlin’s physicality has also weighed heavily in his tremendous success, according to Jackson.
“The genetic makeup of Curlin is fairly rare,” he said. “The overall industry has been inbreeding too long…I’m trying to revive the racing industry to be more aware of this.”
Asmussen noted that Bridgmohan, who is currently based at Keeneland, was available this afternoon due to the fact he flew in to work Breeders’ Cup Classic candidate Student Council this morning.
“Shaun’s done this many, many times with Curlin in company. We didn’t want to leave anything to chance this afternoon,” he said. “As for Student Council, he worked real well (6 furlongs in 1:12.40) this morning. He’ll have about 60 days between races, and we feel he’s sitting on a real big race.”
Breeders’ Cup 25 will be run Oct. 24 and 25 at Santa Anita, and it will mark the fourth time racing’s biggest event has been hosted by the Oak Tree Racing Association.
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