A single-season record of 622 victories might have been all Steve Asmussen needed to win the Eclipse Award for leading trainer of 2008. However, being trainer of Curlin probably didn't hurt either.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who on Dec. 18 became the first trainer to win 600 races in a year, labeled the feat a "pretty amazing thing" and credited his staff and owners for his ability to continue to break records.
Curlin, racing's $10 million horse, arrived at Santa Anita on Sunday, Sept. 28, and settled in at Barn 27. Assistant trainer Scott Blasi said that Curlin would probably make his first visit to the Santa Anita track Wednesday, Oct. 1.
Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin turned in his final serious prep for an upcoming start in the Aug. 30 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course when he breezed seven furlongs over the upstate New York oval Aug. 18.
Curlin, the 2007 Horse of the Year and 3-5 morning line favorite for the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), schooled in the paddock at Churchill Downs following the fifth race June 12. He was accompanied by trainer Steve Asmussen and assistant trainer Scott Blasi.
Trainer Steve Asmussen was none too pleased with the 128-pound impost assigned to 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin for his expected bid in the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Still, after a half-mile breeze in :49 seconds by the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner June 9, Asmussen indicated the horse would start in the 1 1/8-mile event.
Louie Roussel didn't like the weather forecast for Saturday, or Sunday, and Monday for that matter, so he moved Recapturetheglory's five-furlong work to Friday morning.
Charles Fipke's Tale of Ekati worked a half-mile in :49.20 April 17 at Keeneland. Trainer Barclay Tagg described the move as "a little maintenance work after his race."
Pyro may be on fire going into the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 12, but 11 other runners will attempt to douse his Derby dreams in the 1 1/8-mile event.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and the second choice at 9-2 in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) future wager pool number three, schooled in the paddock at Keeneland April 5
Fresh off his impressive victory in the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin shipped into Belmont Park April 2 to begin his quarantine period after spending the past several weeks in Dubai.
Horse of the Year Curlin was on the track at Dubai's Nad Al Sheba Racecourse for a five-furlong workout March 10 that assistant trainer Scott Blasi declared "awesome" as the colt gears up for the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin worked out Saturday morning in preparation for a race in Dubai Feb. 28. He is being pointed to the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Stonestreet Stables' Curlin shipped into Gulfstream Park Feb. 15 and will spend the evening in the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen before flying to Dubai Feb. 16.
With Belmont's fall meet set to open Sept. 7, a strong crop of top 2-year-olds will head into the East coast's final prep races for the Oct. 27-28 Breeders' Cup races at Monmouth Park.
After a terrible journey chasing roses May 5, inexperienced Curlin has every right to improve in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), says assistant Scott Blasi, who is handling the colt for trainer Steve Asmussen this week.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and Michael Smurfit's Gaff prompted the pace most of the way before taking over mid-stretch and capturing Saturday's inaugural running of the $75,000 Bonapaw Stakes by a neck Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Churchill Downs concluded its 2006 fall meet on Saturday, Nov. 25, with solid gains in on-track wagering and a slight increase in average daily attendance.
Stonestreet Stable's Tiz Wonderful, who has won his two career starts by a combined margin of 19 Â¼-lengths, is the odds-on morning line favorite in a field of nine 2-year-olds entered in Saturday's $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II).
It looks like 2005 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Summerly, recently sold for $3.3 million, will get to run one more time over her favorite track in the $300,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II) on Nov. 23.
Gainesway Stable's Successful Outlook made her stakes debut in Friday's $106,200 Tempted (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies a winning one at Aqueduct, drawing off in the final stages to remain unbeaten in two starts.
Odds-on choice Tiz Wonderful, ridden by Garrett Gomez in his second start, emerged from a speed duel to romp to a 6 ¾-length victory in the $110,900 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs Sunday.
Making his start in a stakes race, 25-1 shot Reigning Court took the lead after a half-mile and never looked back in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) for 3-year-olds.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Appealing Zophie, ridden aggressively at the start by Shaun Bridgmohan, got the jump on her rivals and was never challenged in winning Sunday's $250,000 Spinaway (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course.
Chace City dueled for the early lead then pulled away in the stretch to win the Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II) by a length at the Spa Aug. 17. King of the Roxy, who gave chase early, finished second in the $200,000 race for juveniles.
Steve Asmussen, North America's leading trainer in 2004 and 2005, has decided not to seek legal recourse over a six-month suspension that was upheld by the Louisiana Racing Commission. He is to serve the ban for a medication infraction from July 10, 2006 to Jan. 10, 2007.
Starlight Stable's Purge, the fourth-place finisher in Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I), came out of the race with a slight injury, but it is not expected to impact the colt's training.
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