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Oct 05, 2007

Jockey Club Gold Cup win sends Curlin to Breeders' Cup

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Preakness Stakes winner Curlin overtook Lawyer Ron in deep stretch to win Sunday's $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. The victory for the three-year-old gives him automatic entry into the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park on Saturday, October 27.

Curlin, ridden by Robby Albarado, was taking on older horses for the first time. Lawyer Ron had already made his way into the Breeders' Cup Classic with his Whitney Handicap victory this summer at Saratoga.

The pace in the 1 1/4 mile Gold Cup was set by long-shot Brother Bobby with Lawyer Ron running second followed by Political Force and Curlin in the seven horse field.

Brother Bobby, with Stewart Elliott riding, led the field up the backstretch and into the far turn. Around the turn for home Lawyer Ron and jockey John Velazquez assumed the lead with Curlin gaining on the outside.

At the top of the stretch Lawyer Ron had a short lead over Curlin as the two put away any challengers. With less than a 100 yards to run Curlin passed Lawyer Ron to record his first win since the Preakness.

Curlin, trained by Steve Asmussen, posted a neck victory over Lawyer Ron followed by Political Force, Sun King, Brother Bobby, Indy Wind and Malibu Moonshine.

The time for the Jockey Club Gold Cup was 2:01.20 on a fast track.

Curlin recorded his second richest win on Sunday. The victory was worth $450,000, second to the $600,000 Preakness win. The colt has won five of eight starts, all this year, for $2.4 million.

"Once you're around a horse like this you gotta be careful not to compare everyone to him because you'll definitely be disappointed most of the time," said assistant trainer Scott Blasi. "He's a special horse. He accomplished a lot a very short period of time over the spring."

Curlin was coming off a disappointing third the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Before that he was second as the favorite to Rags to Riches the Belmont Stakes.

"His Haskell was disappointing," Blasi said. "I don't think there's something you can really put your finger on, but the Belmont Stakes was a tough race on him."

Jockey Robby Albarado recorded his second Gold Cup win. He was aboard Mineshaft to capture the 2003 edition.

Curlin paid $6.20, $3.10 and $2.40. Lawyer Ron returned $2.40 and $2.10, and Political Force paid $2.70 to show.



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