Curlin, Pyro Impressive in Workouts
Photo: Alexander Barkoff
Horse of the Year Curlin, pointing toward a 4-year-old campaign, and leading Triple Crown contender Pyro were noses apart at the finish of a six-furlong tandem workout officially timed in 1:13 at Fair Grounds Jan. 30.

“That was impressive,” said trainer Steve Asmussen, whose watch had the workout two-fifths of a second faster. “I think we’re right where we want to be with both of them.”

Curlin, with regular exercise rider Carmen Rosas aboard, and Pyro, with Dominic Terry up, went to the track at about 6:20 a.m. and worked together. They galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26.

The pair, who currently reside in adjacent stalls in Asmussen’s barn, covered the quarter-mile Fair Grounds stretch in :24 flat despite a strong headwind.

No determination has been made on where or when Curlin, who was named Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male at last week’s Eclipse Awards, will make his first 4-year-old start.

Pyro, the Bessmer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up and Eclipse finalist for champion 2-year-old male, is on course for a sophomore debut in the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) Fair Grounds Feb. 9.

“The Risen Star, no doubt, will be tough,” said Asmussen, who may also send out Lecomte Stakes winner Z Fortune in the prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). “But,” he added, tipping his cap to Pyro’s morning effort, “Curlin won’t be running in (the Risen Star).”

Curlin and Pyro will both likely work again Feb. 5.

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