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Nov 02, 2007

Curlin concludes year tops in poll

By: SPORTS NETWORK


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Breeders' Cup Classic winner Curlin ended his season as the top rated thoroughbred in the final National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) poll of 2007.

The three-year-old colt garnered 17 of 18 first-place votes and finished with 179 points, 42 more than Breeders' Cup Turf champ English Channel. Leading three-year-old filly Rags to Riches received the other first place vote and finished in fifth place with 85 points.

Coming in third was Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense followed by Hard Spun, Rags to Riches, Breeders' Cup Sprint champ Midnight Lute, Distaff winner Ginger Punch, Juvenile winner War Pass, Lawyer Ron and Dirt Mile champ Corinthian.

Finishing out of the top-ten for the only time this year was 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor. The five-year-old was retired shortly after winning the $6 million Dubai World Cup in March.

In what could be his only year of racing, Curlin finished with six wins in nine starts for more than $5.1 million. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the chestnut colt did not begin his career until February of this year at Gulfstream Park.

He proceeded to reel off three consecutive wins, including the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. His third place finish to Street Sense in the Kentucky Derby set up a showdown, along with Hard Spun, in the Preakness Stakes.

In the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Curlin retook the lead down the stretch from Street Sense to win at Pimlico. Sent off as the even-money favorite in the Belmont Stakes, Curlin lost by a head to the filly Rags to Riches.

His first visit to Monmouth Park came in the Haskell Invitational where he finished third behind Any Given Saturday and Hard Spun. Curlin took on older horses for the first time in the Jockey Club Gold Cup where he won, defeating leading handicap horse Lawyer Ron.

Curlin's future in racing has not been decided, but it is expected he will be voted 2007 Horse of the Year when the Eclipse Awards are announced early in 2008.



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