Making his first trip to the main track after training for several weeks on the Oklahoma side due to inclement weather, Curlin broke off sharply with workmate Hawaii Calls and put in a dazzling performance on the inside as he powered by the other horse at the quarter pole. He went the distance in 1:24.84, while Hawaii Calls clocked the same distance in 1:25.62.
“All of his serious preparation is in for the Woodward and we’re feeling very good,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “It was his tempo, his work; it was all about him today. We wanted him to have a serious work, and once he was into it he was very serious, steady, and impressive.”
It was a busy day for Asmussen and assistant trainer Scott Blasi. J Be K, pointing for a start in the Aug. 23 King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I), went four furlongs in :50.67 over the Oklahoma oval, while Aug. 23 Travers (gr. I) starter Pyro covered the same ground in :52.28. Student Council, pointing for a start in the Aug. 24 Pacific Classic (gr. I), also went four furlongs. His time was :49.89, while stablemate Zanjero got the distance in :52.23.
Devereaux (:52.44) and Magna Graduate (:52.03) went four furlongs for Asmussen as well, as did Jimmy Simms (:50.32).