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.
Curlin reportedly traveled a half-mile in :52, which Equibase initially indicated was the slowest clocking of 19 horses that worked at the distance. However, only 13 workouts were later posted on the Equibase website and Curlin's time was not listed among them.
Trainer Steve Asmussen said he just wanted to give Curlin a chance for a little more lively exercise than the routine gallops he has been assigned since arriving at Keeneland.
“We just sped him up a little bit,” Asmussen said. “There’s no telling how fast he went because of how foggy it was out there, but it was a very easy breeze.”
Overall, Curlin has fared exceptionally well following his triumph in the World Cup and the journey back to the United States.
“I love how Curlin is doing; I’m very pleased with him,” Asmussen said. “I’m just extremely excited with how he’s doing and how he’s acting. I think he’s going to bounce out of his Dubai trip in excellent shape.”
Curlin is scheduled to depart Keeneland April 22 with other Asmussen runners bound for quarters at Churchill Downs. Although principal owner Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, have been observing Curlin since he has been stabled in Lexington, Asmussen said so far no plans have been made for the rest of the 2008 racing season.
“Everybody is pleased with how he is doing and everything he’s done," said Asmussen. "I don’t think there is any reason to get in any hurry about what’s next."