Standing at the backstretch rail the morning of March 24 at Nad al Sheba in Dubai, assistant trainer Trish McLaughlin watched Albertus Maximus virtually soar past her while pulling against exercise rider Rob Massey in an impressive show of contained strength and speed.
A total of 97 horses have passed final declaration stage for Saturday's Dubai World Cup seven-race card, including 14 in the $6 million World Cup.
Still recovering after the long journey from the United States to Dubai, the 12-horse American contingent for the March 28 Dubai World Cup races continued to stretch their legs March 22 and get acclimated to Nad al Sheba, with most sent out for easy gallops.
Including four U.S.-based runners, 15 horses have been entered for the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba racecourse March 28.
Donn Handicap (gr. I) winner Albertus Maximus continues to solidify his status as America's leading hope for the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) with a bullet workout March 7 at Palm Meadows Training Center.
As the only member of the elite crop of 2007 3-year-olds to return to racing as a 4-year-old, Curlin had the hopes of racing fans across the country resting on his shoulders as he embarked on an ambitious campaign that was designed to break new ground in international racing.
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Albertus Maximus will be aimed at the Dubai World Cup program after recently being acquired by Sheikh Hamdan's American-based Shadwell Stable.
Curlin, the 2007 Horse of the Year and 3-5 morning line favorite for the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), schooled in the paddock at Churchill Downs following the fifth race June 12. He was accompanied by trainer Steve Asmussen and assistant trainer Scott Blasi.
Trainer Steve Asmussen was none too pleased with the 128-pound impost assigned to 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin for his expected bid in the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Still, after a half-mile breeze in :49 seconds by the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner June 9, Asmussen indicated the horse would start in the 1 1/8-mile event.
Stonestreet Stable and Midnight Cry Stable's Curlin dazzled onlookers with a strong work at Churchill Downs June 2 as the reigning Horse of the Year tuned up for planned run in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 14.
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.
Nearly two weeks after returning to the United States following his record victory in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), reigning Horse of the Year Curlin resumed work April 21 with a short breeze at Keeneland through a thick curtain of fog.
Fresh off his impressive victory in the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin shipped into Belmont Park April 2 to begin his quarantine period after spending the past several weeks in Dubai.
After his impressive win in $6 million Dubai World Cup UAE-I), Curlin will have a well-deserved rest before returning to the track for the second part of the year, trainer Steve Asmussen said a day after his champion's March 29 victory.
Together, trainer Steve Asmussen, jockey Robby Albarado and owner Jess Jackson have won more than 8,000 races -- but none even remotely like the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
As 12 horses headed to the post in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), trainer Steve Asmussen stood in the paddock at Nad Al Sheba racecourse. "I'm just wanting the real Curlin to show up," he said. Moments later, the Smart Strike colt more than obliged, rolling to a 7 3/4-length win and convincing viewers of one sure thing - right now "the real Curlin" is the best horse in the world.
No American knows more about the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) from personal experience than Jim Cornes. The Dubai Racing Club official and former assistant to four-time Dubai champion trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has witnessed all but one of the previous 12 runnings of the world's richest race and will be there Saturday to see if Curlin can join the elite group of winners.
As racing fans and participants from around the world gathered at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on Thursday for "Breakfast with the Stars," there was one name that seemed to be on everyone's lips: Curlin. People from Australia to Europe to South America to Asia all wanted to see the American Horse of the Year with their own eyes, to gauge how good he might really be before he races for the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on Saturday.
ESPN360.com will offer live broadband network coverage of the Dubai World Cup card March 29 from 9:30 a.m.-2p.m. ET.
Keeneland Race Course will offer simulcast wagering on the $21 million Dubai World Cup Day races, held Saturday, March 29, at Nad al Sheba Race Course in Dubai.
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.
Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Diamond Stripes faces a tall task in topping a pair of local Godolphin stars in Saturday's Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) at Nad al Sheba.
American Horse of the Year Curlin was standing in the wash rack in his barn in the quarantine area of Nad Al Sheba Racecourse when the unmistakable sound of an explosion split the air. "We were lucky he was in the wash rack because we could have had a problem if I was walking him," assistant trainer Scott Blasi said of the startling noise.
A day after his last workout for the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Curlin was ready to do more, said Scott Blasi, who has spent the last month tending only to Curlin, satisfying the colt's every need and keeping him focused on the task that lies ahead.
In his final timed tune-up for the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Horse of the Year Curlin dazzled onlookers at Nad Al Sheba with a show of contained power March 24.
The connections of Horse of the Year Curlin are determined to give the prepossessing chestnut a chance to create his own legend in racing. His quest for such glory begins this year in Dubai, where he will try to win the world's richest race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), as a leap toward shattering Cigar's career earnings record of $9,999,815. Michele MacDonald -- who is covering her 10th consecutive Dubai World Cup -- shares the most intimate moments of this Middle Eastern sojourn, focusing on the people closest to Curlin and the exceptional colt himself, as well as offering a magic carpet ride through the land of Dubai.
Horse of the Year Curlin traveled six furlongs in 1:13.54 at Nad Al Sheba racecourse the morning of March 17 in a key workout before the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
A record-equaling field of 13, led by 2007 Horse of the Year, Curlin, could go to post for the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) sponsored by Emirates Airline March 29.
Horse of the Year Curlin was on the track at Dubai's Nad Al Sheba Racecourse for a five-furlong workout March 10 that assistant trainer Scott Blasi declared "awesome" as the colt gears up for the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Connections of Spring At Last, a convincing winner of the Feb. 2 Donn Handicap (gr. I), have decided to bypass the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 and aim instead for the $300,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 5.
Zayat Stables' Massive Drama, third in two graded stakes in California this year, will detour off the traditional Triple Crown trail to take on a tough group of older Southern Hemisphere-breds in the $2-million UAE Derby (UAE-II) on the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) program.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was relieved to find that grade I winner Daaher, who finished a well-beaten third as the 2-5 favorite in the March 1 Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct, was not suffering from any ailments the morning after the race.
It is all systems go for a trip to Dubai by Spring At Last, who worked an easy four furlongs in :50 1/5 at Hollywood Park Feb. 25 for trainer Doug O'Neill.
A Kentucky judge delayed ruling on the latest motion asking to foreclose on the company that owns a minority interest in reigning Horse of the Year Curlin Feb. 19, leaving in place, at least temporarily, the colt's clouded ownership structure.
Horse of the Year Curlin looked in great shape Feb. 20 when he took his first look at the main dirt track of Nad Al Sheba, home to his main target, the $6million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), sponsored by Emirates Airline.
Curlin looked in great shape Wednesday morning when taking his first look at the main dirt track of Nad Al Sheba, home to the $6 million Dubai World Cup (gr. I), sponsored by Emirates Airline.
Horse of the Year Curlin arrived in Dubai the evening of Feb. 17 with "pep in his step," in the words of assistant trainer Scott Blasi, and seems eager to begin an assault on Cigar's all-time earnings record with two starts at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse topped by the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29.
Argentine classic winner Joe Louis surged past a tiring Premium Tap and won Saudi Arabia's most prestigious race, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup, for Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer on Feb. 15 at Al Janadriah racecourse.
Horse of the Year Curlin is being pointed to the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse to make his first start of 2008, majority owner Jess Jackson said.
- By Claire Novak
Danzel Brendemuehl's passion for Thoroughbred racing was ignited -- almost literally -- when she was just 16 years old. Now, after gaining valuable experience in the trenches of the industry, she's selecting top performers such as Monterey Jazz, Roses In May, Fleetstreet Dancer, and Fridays a Comin.
Seven former Donn Handicap winners have gone on to compete in the $6 million Dubai World Cup.
With nearly every category a foregone conclusion, the 37th Eclipse Awards night appeared to hold few, if any, surprises -- until Jess Jackson in accepting Horse of the Year for Curlin announced the champion would continue racing in 2008.
Curlin, the 2007 Horse of the Year in North America and officially the world's highest-rated horse still in training, heads a list of 169 horses nominated for the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) sponsored by Emirates Airline March 29.
Gary Stevens has assumed a newly created position of Senior Advisor " Racing and Bloodstock Affairs, at IEAH Stables.
Describing the condition of probable Horse of the Year Curlin as "perfect," trainer Steve Asmussen has tentatively set Sunday for the colt's first timed workout since winning the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Premium Tap, who races under the name Allam in Saudi Arabia, remained undefeated in that country, scoring a gutsy head victory over his arch rival, Brazilian-bred Impossible Ski, in the Crown Prince Cup at Al Janadriah Racecourse Dec. 7, a prep for the King's Cup, a race he won last year.
Pensioned Irish stallion Almutawakel, who won the 1999 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), was euthanized because of chronic arthritis.
West Point Thoroughbreds has decided to point grade II winner Awesome Gem, who finished third in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), toward next year's $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE- I).
Making his second start in Saudi Arabia since a game runner-up effort to Invasor in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Premium Tap crushed 16 rivals Nov. 2 in the 2,000-meter Ministry of Culture and Information Cup at Al Janadriah racecourse, winning by seven lengths in 2:01.66.
A disappointed John Kimmel confirmed Wednesday that Premium Tap, runner-up to Invasor in the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), will remain in Saudi Arabia to point for next year's King's Cup, which the colt won this year, and possibly another try at the World Cup.
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