Curlin Could Face Einstein in Foster

from Churchill Downs

Stonestreet Stable and Midnight Cry Stable’s reigning Horse of the Year Curlin was assigned 128 pounds for the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The 128-pound impost would be two pounds more than Curlin carried in his victory in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in his most recent start March 29.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Curlin is scheduled to make his first start at Churchill Downs since finishing third to Street Sense in last year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The Stephen Foster is a nine-furlong test on the dirt.

Sharing second highweight of 120 pounds are the Allen Paulson Living Trust’s A.P. Arrow, trained by Todd Pletcher, and Millenium Farms’ Student Council, both of which are being pointed to the June 28 Suburban (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

Considered possible to challenge Curlin are Einstein at 118 pounds, Grasshopper (117), Brass Hat (116), Delightful Kiss (114), Jonesboro (114), Barcola (113), High Blues (113), Red Rock Creek (113), and Sam P. (113).

Trainer Helen Pitts plans to work three-time grade I turf winner Einstein an easy five-eighths on the main track June 8. Einstein was scheduled to run in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. I) June 7 at Belmont, but could not be entered because of a licensing issue with co-owner Shirley Cunningham.

“It is just going to be an easy maintenance work to keep him happy,” Pitts said. “If he doesn’t run in the Foster, it will still give me time for the Firecracker (gr. II).”

Pitts said the makeup of the field at entry time June 11 would influence her to decision to run more than the weights. “I want to see who is going in there besides Curlin, obviously,” Pitts said. “If I think he can run one, two, or three in a grade I on dirt, yeah, I’ll take a shot.”

Winner of the Derby day Turf Classic (gr. I) in his most recent start, Einstein also won the Gulfstream Park Turf (gr. I) Feb. 23, three weeks after finishing sixth on the dirt in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.