BloodHorse staff writer/blogger Jason Shandler takes to the Triple Crown Trail with a look at the "Derby Drought" that has followed three of the best trainers in the world - Bill Mott, Todd Pletcher and Steve Asmussen. Though between them they have more than $420 million in purse money and nearly 10,000 wins, the dynamic trio is a combined 0-for-30 on Derby day.
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.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, impressive winner of the Feb. 9 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds, worked Feb. 18 at the New Orleans track and had to avoid a loose horse in the process.
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.
Trainer Steve Asmussen will have a division at Woodbine for the first time when the Toronto-area track opens its 167-day meet April 5.
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.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable has seven horses entered on Louisiana Premier Night Feb. 2 at Delta Downs.
The 4-year-old colt scores consecutive stakes wins with a victory in the Maxxam Gold Cup Jan. 26 at Sam Houston Race Park.
The 2007 Horse of the Year breezed five furlongs with stablemate Pyro Jan. 24 at Fair Grounds.
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.
The inaugural "Santa Sprint Saturday" package at Fair Grounds turned into a two-man show Dec. 22, as trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan combined to win all four $100,000 dirt stakes and racked up a whopping six victories on the 10-race card.
A winner of five of seven starts this year, Midnight Cry Stable's homebred Stormin Baghdad headlines a field of 13 for the Dec. 22 Bonapaw Stakes, the last of four $100,000 stakes on the inaugural "Santa Sprint Saturday" card at Fair Grounds.
Curlin, the leading candidate for 2007 Horse of the Year, arrived at Fair Grounds Nov. 27 following a van ride from Churchill Downs, but his racing future is still undecided.
Observing its traditional holiday start, Fair Grounds will open its doors Thanksgiving Day, beginning an 81-day meet highlighted by Louisiana Derby day, the richest day in Louisiana racing history, which will feature six stakes worth $2.2 million.
Millennium Farms' Will He Shine, a grade II stakes winner by Silver Deputy, will run next in the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) Nov. 24 at Laurel Park in Maryland.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stables' Inca King stalked the pace, took the lead around the far turn and then inched away for a 1 -length victory in the $150,000 Commonwealth Turf Nov. 11 at Churchill Downs.
Millennium Farms' Rolling Sea won for the sixth time this year, stalking the pace and then taking a clear lead in the stretch before holding on to win the $200,000 Chilukki Stakes (gr. II) by a half-length at Churchill Downs Nov. 3.
The high probability of rain for Breeders' Cup weekend has led trainers to make some decisions on shoeing.
Steve Asmussen discusses his Breeders' Cup Classic preparations for Curlin with BloodHorseNOW.com reporter Leslie Deckard.
A release from Millennium Farm owner Ro Parra said a decision will be made as to whether Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) and Pacific Classic (gr. I) winner Student Council, by Kingmambo, will run next in the $2.4 million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) Nov. 24 or the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 27.
Steve Asmussen trainee Curlin, winner of this year's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), began his serious preparations for an expected engagement in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) by working a half-mile on Keeneland's Polytrack surface in :51.80 Oct. 9.
The $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr.I) at Belmont Park Sept. 30 should help answer questions about leading older handicap horse Lawyer Ron and 2007 Preakness (gr. I) winner Curlin.
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin, whose next race could be the Sept. 30 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park, worked the fastest five furlongs of the Saratoga work tab Aug. 27.
Today's feature is the Adirondack - $150,000 for 2-year-old fillies. As with all "baby" races, there's not much to go on as far as past performances are concerned.
Organizers of the Claiming Crown hope its 2007 edition at Ellis Park Aug. 4 goes a long way toward strengthening the foundation of the event that was inaugurated in 1999.
Despite enduring an extremely wet spring/summer meet, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie concluded its 2007 Thoroughbred season July 29 with modest increases in total and average daily attendance, as well as on-track total handle. Wagering on the live product, however, declined both on and off track.
Nine colts and geldings are entered in the 93rd running of the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Saratoga July 26. The most experienced entrant is Ready's Image, the only stakes winner in the field.
Trainer Steve Asmussen had his corps of 3-year-old colts ready for action, working Curlin, Tiz Wonderful, Zanjero, and Forty Grams over the Oklahoma training track Tuesday for their upcoming stakes engagements.
The second season for 3-year-olds began on July 4, with the emphatic victory by Any Given Saturday in the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II), and judging from the works turned in by Curlin and Hard Spun on Monday, as well as Street Sense's work on Sunday, the heavy hitters from the Triple Crown are all primed and ready for their respective returns.
Kodiak Kowboy earned a third career win when he took Saturday's $150,000 Bashford Manor (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Rated Fiesty smoked the field in 1:09.27 and remained unbeaten in three starts when she wired the field in Satuday's $100,000 Debutante (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs, during the Louisville track's final weekend of spring racing.
Trainer Steve Asmussen will send out five 2-year-olds in two stakes races as Churchill Downs wraps up the spring meet in Louisville this weekend.
Trainer Steve Asmussen is confident that his Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin will show up and finish strong in the final leg of the Triple Crown, the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
With the racing world still rocking from the bombshell dropped by Carl Nafzger Thursday morning, all thoughts immediately turned to the two big horses who will remain on their Triple Crown journey and the two trainers who elected to see it through to its conclusion.
Street Sense, winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), worked a half-mile May 30 at Churchill Downs as his owner, Jim Tafel, and trainer, Carl Nafzger, consider a possible start in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the final jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Curlin, winner of the May 19 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), is gearing for a start in the Belmont and returned to the racetrack May 23 at Churchill Downs for the first time since his victory over Street Sense, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I)
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The fighting spirit shown by both Curlin and Street Sense in this terrific stretch battle epitomizes what breeding and racing Thoroughbreds is all about.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - Never having been in such a position, Gallion had trouble putting a value on Curlin...
Thoroughbred racing is a sport of contrasting emotions, ranging from euphoria to despair and laced with a heavy dose of what might have beens. It often takes a special horse to bring all those emotions to the surface, and after watching the 132nd Preakness Stakes (gr. I), there is no doubt that Curlin is that kind of horse.
After a terrible journey chasing roses May 5, inexperienced Curlin has every right to improve in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), says assistant Scott Blasi, who is handling the colt for trainer Steve Asmussen this week.
Steve Asmussen trainee Curlin, who finished third in the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), tuned up for Saturday's 132nd running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) with an easy half-mile work on Monday at Churchill Downs.
Bill Heiligbrodt's Gaff overcame a yielding turf course to register a win in Friday's $150,000 Aegon Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Several of the connections of this year's Derby horses have more than one shot of winning the big prize.
Showing no rust from a seven-year absence, jockey Joe Patin Jr. guided Mr Forestrey ($15.80) to victory in his first mount back in the second race April 25 at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino.
In spite of unsatisfactory weather conditions throughout much of the winter-spring, business at Oaklawn Park stayed strong on track through the 2007 live racing season. While attendance and daily average slipped, on-track wagering remained strong.
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie on Saturday will salute and recognize a foundation class of 14 inductees into the new Lone Star Park Hall of Fame in conjunction with a yearlong celebration of its 10th anniversary of live horse racing.
When 2007 began, trainer Steve Asmussen was having Triple Crown dreams about a colt named Tiz Wonderful. Those dreams were dashed when the son of Tiznow injured his right front tendon and was sent to the sidelines, and it looked as if Asmussen would be watching the spring classics alongside his talented runner.
Undefeated Curlin made like Smarty Jones in winning Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and heads into next month's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) as the potential favorite following his record 10 1/2-length demolition job at Oaklawn Park.
A foundation class of 14 will be enshrined in the new Lone Star Park Hall of Fame April 21 -- as part of the year long celebration of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's 10th anniversary. Lone Star Park's spring Thoroughbred season opens for a 16-week run April 12 and will continue through July 29.
Taking advantage of a suicidal speed duel, H. Gus King's 12-1 shot Sir Five Star rallied wide from off the pace to win the $50,000 Mountain Valley Stakes for 3-year-olds by 8 1/2 lengths before a crowd of 11,809 Saturday at Oaklawn Park.
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