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Mar 28, 2008

Curlin gets outside post for Dubai World Cup


Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Sports Network) - Curlin, the world's leading thoroughbred, has drawn post 12 for Saturday's 13th running of the $6 million Dubai World Cup. The 1 1/4 mile race at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse will have a record-equaling 13 starters.

"I think the draw is okay, because of the configuration of the race track, and he will put himself in a good position," said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. "He's done everything right since he's been here. He's been training well."

The 2007 Horse of the Year and winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Classic has earned $5.2 million with seven wins in 10 career starts. He also won the Arkansas Derby and Preakness Stakes last year and later added the Jockey Club Gold Cup versus older horses. Curlin won a prep race in Dubai in advance of the World Cup.

Regular jockey Robby Albarado will fly in to ride for owners Stonestreet and Midnight Cry Stables.

"We all like to say they get better as they get older, and Curlin is a perfect example," Albarado said Tuesday. "He's more mature, he's bigger, and he's serious about horse racing. I feel like the best three races were his last three races. The Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Breeders' Cup Classic and the Jaguar are probably the only three races where he really bellied down and ran hard. If he continues his streak, he could be a superstar. I think he's going to get better as he goes on this year."

Returning for another shot at the Dubai World Cup is last year's runner-up Premium Tap. Premium Tap is owned by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, where the horse has remained since losing to Invasor in the 2007 renewal.

Premium Tap will start from post six with Sebastian Madrid riding for trainer Julio Gardel.

"It's a good position for the race," Gardel said. "I hope he runs a race like he did last year."

Here is the complete field for the Dubai World Cup in post position order with jockeys: Sway Yed, Olivier Peslier; Well Armed, Aaron Gryder; Happy Boy, Kerrin McEvoy; Kocab, Stephane Pasquier; Great Hunter, Garrett Gomez; Premium Tap, Sebastian Madrid; Vermilion, Yutaka Take; Jalil, Frankie Dettori; Asiatic Boy, John Murtagh; Lucky Find, Kevin Shea; Glria De Campeo, Christophe Lemaire; Curlin, Robby Albarado and A.P. Arrow, Ramon Dominguez.

The track and stakes record was set in 2000 when Dubai Millennium won in 1:59:50. That was also the first time 13 horses competed in the Dubai World Cup.

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