No horse has ever won the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) from post position number 12, but Curlin could change that fact when he tackles 13 runners in the March 29 event. The field equals the largest in World Cup history, as that same number also ran in 2000 when Dubai Millennium set a 2,000-meter track record of 1:59.50 at Nad al Sheba Racecourse.
While not often considered desirable, an outside spot might work in favor of Curlin, North America’s 2007 Horse of the Year. The 4-year-old Smart Strikecolt has done some of his best running for trainer Steve Asmussen away from the rail, and won the Feb. 28 Jaguar Cup in his prep for the World Cup after tracking along well outside the other horses. Only one runner – fellow U.S. contender A.P. Arrow – will be to his right in the approximately 10 furlong test.
“He’ll put himself in a good position,” assistant trainer Scott Blasi told members of the media following the draw for the upcoming event. “I think the draw is OK.”
Trainer Eoin Harty, whose Well Armed drew post number two, was equally confident in Curlin’s chances of changing World Cup history when he runs for majority owner Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables.
“Even if they started Curlin on Nad al Sheba road, I don’t think it would make much difference,” he said.
Bred in Kentucky by Fares Farm out of the Deputy Minister mare Sherriff's Deputy, Curlin has a 7-1-2 record from 10 starts and has won his past three starts, including the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) and the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Sponsored by Emirates Airlines and run as the final event on a seven-race card, the World Cup has drawn six starters bred in the United States including Premium Tap (Pleasant Tap), second to Invasor in the 2007 edition of the race for Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and sons, and J. Paul Reddam’s Great Hunter (Aptitude).
Sunday Racing Co's Japanese star Vermilion (El Condor Pass), fourth in the ’07 World Cup but winner of four grade I races since then, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum's Argentinean Asiatic Boy (Not For Sale), and the Brazilian-bred Happy Boy (Ski Champ), racing in the silks of Godolphin Stable, are among those expected to challenge Curlin for the victory.
$6 million Dubai World Cup, Sponsored by Emirates Airlines (UAE-I, race seven) about 10 furlongs (2,000 meters) for Northern Hemisphere 4-year-olds and Southern Hemisphere 3-year-olds, dirt
PP, Horse, Jockey 1. Sway Yed, Olivier Peslier
2. Well Armed, Aaron Gryder
3. Happy Boy, Kerrin McEvoy
4. Kocab, Stephane Pasquier
5. Great Hunter, Garrett Gomez
6. Premium Tap, Sebastian Madrid
7. Vermilion, Yutaka Take
8. Jalil, Lanfranco Dettori
9. Asiatic Boy, John Murtagh
10. Lucky Find, Kevin Shea
11. Gloria De Campeao, Christophe Lemaire
12. Curlin, Robby Albarado
13. A. P. Arrow, Ramon Dominguez