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Jul 11, 2008

Curlin completes turf debut preparations



Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Dubai World Cup champ Curlin completed training on Monday for his upcoming debut in a grass race. Last year's Horse of the Year worked four-furlongs at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Steve Asmussen had exercise rider Carlos Rosas guide Curlin through the half-mile workout in :50.80. Last week the four-year-old colt went seven- furlongs on the Churchill Downs turf in just over 1:30.

"He's an awesome horse, I'm excited," Asmussen said. "It looks like we ought to know something on the licensing today (Monday), I understand. We're obviously very anxious about that."

Curlin is set run on Saturday in either the $500,000 Man O' War at Belmont Park or the Arlington Handicap at Arlington Park. Both are graded turf stakes. Minority owner Midnight Cry Stable needs to be approved by one of the states racing authorities.

Asmussen and majority owner Jess Jackson are planning to run Curlin in Europe's premier event for handicap horses, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in France on Oct. 5.

The Man O' War is the preferred race leading to France.

"That race is coming up fabulous," said Asmussen. "If you're going to venture overseas, you don't want to be kidding yourself about how good or bad you are on the turf."

Curlin is third on the all-time North American earnings list with $9,396,800. Only Cigar with $9,999,815 and Skip Away with $9,616,360 have more career earnings

Last month Curlin won the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill and overall has won nine of 12 lifetime starts. In 2007 he won the Preakness Stakes along with the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Breeders' Cup Classic.

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