Horse of the Year Curlin stepped onto the Oklahoma training track just before 6 a.m. the morning of Aug. 4 for his final workout before owner Jess Jackson and trainer Steve Asmussen decide whether his future is on the dirt or turf.
Both Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, were on hand for the work, in which the strapping chestnut colt breezed five furlongs in an easy 1:02.72 under regular exercise rider Carmen Rosas.
“He’s in a beautiful rhythm, he’s very comfortable,” said Asmussen. “He’s very loose. It amazes me how he jogs off afterward. For me, it's like Christmas morning--I get giddy when I see him.”
Jackson is scheduled to announce Curlin's next start during an National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference Aug. 5 at 1 p.m.
“We’re going to sit down, take all the information, and make a decision,” said Asmussen. “I’m just excited to see him run.”
Among the options for Curlin are the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 30, or the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) Aug. 16.
Curlin was among 14 horses invited to the 1 1/2-mile Sword Dancer, along with Red Rocks, who defeated Curlin in his first grass race, the July 12 Man o’ War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.