Curlin to Get Break, Race Later in Year
Photo: Associated Press
Curlin will get a break after winning the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29.
(from Dubai World Cup release)
After his impressive win in $6 million Dubai World Cup UAE-I), Curlin will have a well-deserved rest before returning to the track for the second part of the year, trainer Steve Asmussen said a day after his champion's March 29 victory.

Asmussen reported Curlin to be full of energy after his winning effort and said the 4-year-old colt would be sent to New York on April 2 to clear quarantine at Belmont Park.

The son of Smart Strike will be shipped to Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on April 6, where he eventually will resume light training on the Polytrack surface, Asmussen added.  

“From there, we’ll plan a course for the second half of the year,” Asmussen said. Curlin’s owners, assistant trainer Scott Blasi and exercise rider Carlos Rosas will confer with the trainer about the best plan for future races, he added.

“It will be decided collectively and based on what’s in the best interest of the horse and his legacy,” Asmussen said of his star, who came out of the World Cup without any problems.

Richard Dutrow Jr. had a huge World Cup day as well, training the winners of the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) and the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II), with Benny The Bull and Diamond Stripes.

“They both came out of their races in good shape, they cooled out well and they’re fine this morning,” said Dutrow’s assistant, Michelle Nevin.

Both horses are scheduled to be shipped to New York on April 2, and will remain there with the rest of trainer Dutrow’s stable, she said.

“We haven’t thought of any long-range plans,” Nevin said. “It’s going to take (Dutrow) a couple of days to just calm down from all the excitement. He was just so happy.” 

Dutrow also won the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) on March 29 at Gulfstream Park with Big Brown, who now will be a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).  

It is likely that Benny the Bull will be put on a path to get him to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), while Diamond Stripes could eventually be aimed at the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Nevin said.

Sun Classique, winner of the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) is bound for Hong Kong and is to stable in the United Kingdom this summer, trainer Mike DeKock said.

“She’s absolutely fine,” said De Kock of his 5-year-old mare the morning after her huge win. “We will probably go the Irridescence route, and take her to Sha Tin for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I).

“She’ll then spend the summer in the UK, with the rest of my string from Dubai, and we’ll think about Royal Ascot, although that might be a big ask as we won’t have much time. There are other races like the Nassau and Sun Chariot Stakes to consider, so we don’t have to rush her.” 

De Kock also saddled the first two in the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II), Honour Devil and Royal Vintage.

“They both have come out of the races well and done us proud,” he said. “We might think about some races in America with Honour Devil and Royal Vintage could be our Dubai World Cup horse next year.”

Fellow South African winner Jay Peg, who landed the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I), is also bound for the same Hong Kong race.

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