"We're still considering all our options," Asmussen said following the early morning work, which Curlin completed in 1:03.09 under regular exercise rider Carmen Rosas. "Nothing has been eliminated yet."
Curlin ran in splits of :13.00, :25.64, :and :37.09 before galloping out in 1:17.44. Light and relaxed, he made his move with Rosas sitting chilly in the saddle. Owner Jess Jackson flew in for the work, which he called "extremely pleasing."
In his last start, Curlin ran second July 12 to Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) winner Red Rocks at Belmont Park. That runner-up effort on the turf followed a dominating performance over Churchill Downs' dirt surface in the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Potential starts discussed for the 4-year-old son of Smart Strike include premier European races such as the Oct. 5 Prix de LArc de Triomphe (Fr-I) in Paris or the Sept. 6 Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) at Leopardstown. Among a number of possible races in the U.S. are Saratoga's Aug. 30 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) or the Aug. 24 Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Curlin was bred in Kentucky by Fares Farm out of the Deputy Minister mare Sherriff's Deputy. From 12 career starts he has eight wins and has never finished off the board, taking top grade I events such as the 2007 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) and the 2008 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).