JC / Railbird

Curlin’s Next Start

… will be the Woodward at Saratoga on August 30, owner Jess Jackson announced this afternoon. After the turf experiment that resulted in a second-place finish in the Man o’ War last month, the colt is returning to dirt, “where he’s a champion,” said Jackson, who didn’t rule out another attempt at running Curlin over grass or taking a shot at the Arc next year (noting though that there’s only a “slim” chance that Curlin will race as a 5-year-old). The move is terrific news for NYRA, which historically has struggled to attract a crowd during the final weekend of the meet. Now, if only Dutrow and IEAH could be enticed into sending Big Brown — at that point, four weeks off his Haskell win — to meet Curlin at the Spa, we’d really have an exciting entry on the calendar.
As for what happens after the Woodward, Jackson indicated the Breeders’ Cup Classic was a possibility, “but it’s an untested surface,” referring to the Pro-Ride track being installed at Santa Anita, and said several several other races were under consideration, including the MassCap, Jockey Club Gold Cup, and the Japan Cup. “We’re going to keep all those options open,” said Jackson. “We certainly want to show Curlin off at his best.”
Aside: How great is it for Suffolk Downs that Commentator, Big Brown, and Curlin have all been mentioned as possible starters for the Massachusetts Handicap on September 20? That the race is being considered as a Breeders’ Cup Classic prep for horses of that caliber after being forced into hiatus in 2005 and losing its G2 status in 2007 speaks to the excellent work that the track, under owner Richard Fields, has done to revive New England’s signature race.


I will go to the SPA if the two horses should meet, nothing would keep me from showing my support in person for Curlin if such a miracle should ensue.

Posted by libby on August 5, 2008 @ 4:47 pm

I’m doubtful it’ll happen — Iavarone has laid out what he’s looking for in Big Brown’s next start pretty specifically and there was no mention of Curlin at nine furlongs over dirt — but I would not miss, for anything, such a meeting at Saratoga.

Posted by Jessica on August 5, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

Can we get our reserved MassCap seats NOW?

Posted by Teresa on August 6, 2008 @ 6:23 am