from the New York Racing Association
Horse of the Year Curlin had a “perfect” workout Sept. 22 in his final move before attempting to become the first American racehorse to break the $10-million mark in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 27.
Under regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas, the 4-year-old Smart Strikecolt covered a half-mile in:51.85 on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga. Curlin went in fractions of :13 and :25.70 while galloping out five furlongs in 1:06.15 on a fast surface.
“Perfect,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. “It was his normal work before he runs. He got over the ground really well, and we are all excited about Saturday.”
Curlin, who enters the 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup with earnings of $9,796,800, is on the verge of breaking the legendary Cigar's money-earning record of $9,999,815, which has stood for 12 years. The winner’s purse of $450,000 would vault him past Cigar with a total bankroll of $10,246,800.
Along with Asmussen’s stable pony, Pancho, and stablemate J Be K, who is running in the $400,000 Vosburgh (gr. I) Sept. 27--J Be K breezed a half-mile in :49.88 Sept. 22--Curlin is scheduled to depart Saratoga Sept. 23 at 10 a.m. EDT and arrive at Belmont Park between 1:30- 2 p.m. Blasi said Curlin will gallop Sept. 24 on the main track, school in the paddock during the second race Sept. 25, and gallop again Sept. 26.
Expected to challenge Curlin as he goes for a repeat victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup are Mambo in Seattle, who suffered the narrowest of losses in the Travers Stakes presented by Shadwell Farm (gr. I) Aug. 23; grade 1 Suburban Handicap presented by Shadwell Farm winner Frost Giant; Timber Reserve; Angliana; either A. P. Arrow or Ravel; and Wanderin Boy, who was third behind Curlin in the grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga Aug. 30.