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Oct 03, 2008

Acclimation to track to determine Curlin's Classic start


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Curlin, North America's all-time leading money winner, is safely in his barn at Santa Anita Park with a possible chance to race in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic looming. Fresh off his historic second victory in Belmont Park's Jockey Club Gold Cup, the four-year-old colt is bedded down in Barn 27 at Santa Anita.

"He came out of the race great," said trainer Steve Asmussen on Sunday. "What we decide will only matter according to how he is on that race track. We're going to California to work him, and nothing past that."

Curlin has never started on a synthetic track. Majority owner Jess Jackson needs to see how the colt trains on the recently installed Pro-Ride surface and a possible meeting with Big Brown on Saturday, October 25.

"We'll have to see whether Curlin likes the track," said Jackson from California. "We're not trying to avoid (Big Brown) and there is always the Clark Handicap (November 28 at Churchill Downs) or the Japan Cup (December 7) after that. So, we have to take them one at a time."

Leading three-year-old Big Brown is a definite for the Classic and is expected to arrive at Santa Anita several days prior to the race.

"Big Brown is doing good," trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr. said Sunday morning in New York. "I was happy to see what I saw yesterday with Curlin, and I can't wait to get out there and put him (Big Brown) in the gate. We still plan to ship around the 20th, 21st, 22nd (of October), something like that."

It was announced last week that International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, Inc. (IEAH Stables), owners of Big Brown, will donate a percentage of winnings of all IEAH starters in next month's World Championships to Breeders' Cup Charities.

The primary beneficiaries of Breeders' Cup Charities are: Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Breeders' Cup Charities also support causes in southern California and Thoroughbred industry charities.

"IEAH Stables is proud to be supporting such great charities at our world championships," said Michael Iavarone, co-president and CEO of IEAH Stables. "Breeders' Cup's commitment to St. Jude's and Susan G. Komen and others shows the importance of utilizing an event of this magnitude to bring support and awareness to causes which help those who are less fortunate than us."

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