Curlin, 2007 Horse of the Year and winner of the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), continued to train toward his return to competition May 26 with a strong six-furlong work at Churchill Downs.
The 4-year-old son of Smart Strike, owned by Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables and by Midnight Cry Stables, worked in company with 4-year-old stakes veteran Forty Grams and finished on even terms with his workmate. Curlin covered the distance in 1:12.20 over a fast track under exercise rider Carlos Rosas.
The two works by the Asmussen trainees were the only six-furlong moves on the Monday morning work tab.
It was the fourth published work for the Steve Asmussen-trained Curlin since he returned to serious training with an easy half-mile move on May 5. Asmussen was at Churchill Downs to watch the work, and then boarded a flight to Texas to saddle his stable’s multiple entries on Lone Star Million Day at Lone Star Park.
“I think he went well,” said Asmussen. “He wasn’t as smooth as he is when he’s perfect, but he went really well.”
The $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 14 at Churchill Downs has been mentioned by Jackson as the likely next start for Curlin, but that has not yet been announced as the colt’s definite target.
Curlin has a record of 8-1-2 in 11 races that also includes victories in last year’s $5-million Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) and the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). He has earned $8,807,800.
Several of Asmussen’s stars worked Monday at Churchill Downs. Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Pyro, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. III) and a disappointing 8th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:03.60 in company with Canadian 2-year-old champion Kodiak Kowboy. A grade III winner in the Bashford Manor and Saratoga Special, Kodiak Kowboy covered the distance in the same time. Pyro is scheduled to run next in the $175,000 Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III) on June 14 at Churchill Downs.
Zayat Stables’ Z Fortune, winner of the Lecomte (gr. III) at Fair Grounds and 10th in the Kentucky Derby, also breezed. He went four furlongs in :50.40.