Preakness Winner Curlin is on track for a Belmont start.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Preakness Winner Curlin is on track for a Belmont start.
Order This Photo

Skip Dickstein

Curlin on Track for Belmont Start

(edited press release)

Curlin, winner of the May 19 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), returned to the racetrack May 23 at Churchill Downs for the first time since his heart-pounding victory over Street Sense, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

The chestnut son of Smart Strike galloped a mile over the fast surface for trainer Steve Asmussen with regular exercise rider Carmen Rosas aboard.

"He's doing great," said Scott Blasi, the assistant who oversees Asmussen's Churchill Downs stable. "Everything looks great."

Asmussen was at Churchill and said "all indications" at this point lead to sending the imposing chestnut son of Smart Strike on to the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

"Our responsibility is obviously his health," said Asmussen. "I think the one thing that everybody wants out of that race [the Preakness] is for the top three finishers to come out of it as they obviously did out of the Derby. It was so nice to see them all at the Preakness training the way they did with no chinks in the armor. All of them were still tight together and [we] thought they were going to show up and you'd have to run really well to win, and I think that's what happened."