Working in company with Curlin was Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, runner-up in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and an Eclipse Award finalist for champion 2-year-old. Pyro was credited with the same five-eighths time, although he actually finished about a head in front of his older stablemate, according to a release from Fair Grounds.
“It wasn’t so much the time as how they did it,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, who conditions both Curlin and Pyro.
Shortly after the pair breezed together, a light rain picked up steadily, turning the track condition to “sloppy” well before training hours were finished.Curlin will race as a 4-year-old, majority owner Jess Jackson of Stonestreet Stables announced at the Jan. 21 Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills, Calif. The son of Smart Strike has not raced since winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 27. No determination has been made on Curlin’s first start of the season.
Pyro, also absent from competition since Breeders’ Cup weekend, is being pointed for the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 9 at Fair Grounds. The Risen Star is the final prep for the March 8 Fair Grounds’ Louisiana Derby (gr. II).