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Oct 03, 2008

Thru The Binoculars


Curlin settles in at Santa Anita

Curlin is looking for Big Brown at Santa Anita (Charles Pravata/ Horse of the Year CURLIN (Smart Strike), who shipped to Santa Anita less than 24 hours after defending his title in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (G1) at Belmont Park, has settled in to his new surroundings. Now the all-time leading money earner among North American-based Thoroughbreds, with a bankroll worth $10,246,800, Curlin was accompanied on the flight by assistant trainer Scott Blasi. "He shipped very well. He ate a lot and drank a lot of water," said Blasi, who will oversee Curlin's training at Santa Anita. "He'll walk here at the barn for two days, and then he'll resume training. This works well because he would normally walk two days after a race anyway, and this way he's already here and he'll have a chance to hydrate himself real good and then have a normal training week."

The colt's principal owner, Jess Jackson of Stonestreet Stables, said Curlin would train over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface in anticipation of running in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) on October 25. The Steve Asmussen charge has yet to run over a synthetic track, and his connections wish to test the surface before fully committing to the Classic, a race won last year by Curlin in the slop at Monmouth Park.

If Curlin handles the Pro-Ride satisfactorily, he would be poised for a Classic showdown with top three-year-old BIG BROWN (Boundary), his rival for Horse of the Year honors who is already committed to the 1 1/4-mile contest. Also untested on a synthetic surface, the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S. (G1) hero is expected to train at Richard Dutrow's Aqueduct base before shipping to Santa Anita early the week of the Breeders' Cup.

Breeders' Cup to feature $3 million guaranteed Pick 6 pool

The Breeders' Cup announced Monday the post times and wagering menu for the 25th Breeders' Cup World Championships, highlighted by the world's largest guaranteed Pick 6 betting pool and new Super High 5 wagers. The expanded two-day program, scheduled for October-25 at Santa Anita, includes 14 Breeders' Cup races worth $25.5 million in prize money.

Each race will feature a maximum of 14 horses and wagering interests, with the exception of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, each of which have a maximum of 12 horses. In addition to the standard win, place and show betting, there will be exacta and trifecta wagering on every race; and rolling Pick 3 wagers beginning with the 1ST race and continuing through the all races on both Championship Friday and Championship Saturday. Over the 24 years of the Breeders' Cup, exacta payouts have averaged a robust $230, while trifecta payouts have averaged $2,600.

Championship Saturday features the world's largest guaranteed pool, the $3 million Ultra Pick 6. Four times in the past 10 years, players have become millionaires by correctly selecting the six winners. Graham Stone won $2.7 million on an $8 ticket at the 2003 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, correctly selecting six winners of six consecutive Breeders' Cup races on one ticket. The Ultra Pick 6 has a mandatory payout for Saturday.

Also new this year is Super High 5 wagering on both the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) and the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). In the Super High 5, bettors are required to select the first five finishing places on one ticket. If no one hits the Super High 5 on Friday, the pool will carry over to Saturday's Super High 5 on the Classic, where there will be a mandatory payout.

There will be a Breeders' Cup Pick 6 on Championship Friday, with a carryover provision into Saturday if no one correctly selects the six winners.

"With 14 World Championship races over the two days, racing fans around the world will have the opportunity to watch and enjoy the 'best betting days in sports,' as the Breeders' Cup has proven year after year," said Ken Kirchner, who has overseen wagering programs for the Breeders' Cup since 1996. "It's the high quality of the fields that produces the incredible betting value, from the Ultra Pick 6 which can return millions, to lucrative exacta and trifecta payouts. With 10-cent superfectas and the new Super High 5 Wagers, these are two days every player wants to load up on."

Other featured wagers this year include:

* 10-cent superfectas will be offered on every race, except the two Super High 5 races.
* Two of the Breeders' Cup Saturday Pick 4s are guaranteed, with the early Pick 4 starting on the 2ND race at a $1 million guarantee and the Pick 4 starting on the 6TH race with a $2 million guarantee.

The Breeders' Cup again will be a truly global competition for the horses and fans. Wagering will be conducted in more than 20 countries, including Canada, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Monaco, South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, Mexico, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Jamaica and Trinidad.

There will be a total of 10 races (five Breeders' Cup races) on the Championship Friday program. First post time on Friday is 2:05 p.m. (ET). Post time for the first championship race, featuring the first-ever all female program of major stakes races, is at 3:35 p.m. The five Breeders' Cup races will be the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and the $2 million Ladies Classic. ESPN2 will televise the five Breeders' Cup races beginning at 3:30 until 6:30 p.m.

On Championship Saturday, first post time is 1:10 p.m. (ET). The program will begin with nine consecutive Breeders' Cup races. ABC Sports will televise four races from 1 to 3:30 p.m., followed by the remaining five races on ESPN from 3:30 to 7 p.m. The nine Breeders' Cup Championship races will be the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon, $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile (G1), $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) and the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

The official race order for the World Championships will be announced on October 16.

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