Curlin is Jackson's Lifetime Dream Come True

Jess Jackson at the post position draw for the Dubai World Cup. (Photo Credit: A. Khalifa)Jess Jackson is a man whose achievements and successes could fill many books.

Yet the founder of the Kendall-Jackson Winery and self-made billionaire has found his lifetime dream come true at age 78 in the shape of a chestnut colt with a white blaze named Curlin.

Like so many people who love the sport of horse racing, Jackson said he has mused about having a horse that is the fastest and best in the world ever since he was around six and got his own pony.

That is the primary reason he decided to take the bold step of bringing Curlin to run in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).

"This is the test of the true champion-to win both the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and the Dubai World Cup," Jackson said, describing Curlin as "very competitive, very high spirited, very intelligent.

"He just lives to run," he added.

Jackson also said he brought Curlin to the United Arab Emirates in part to honor Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, a man he respects not only for his vision in developing Dubai and making it an inspiring model for the rest of the Middle East, but also for his commitment to the sport of racing.

"The sheikh is one of the staunchest supporters of the Thoroughbred worldwide," he said. "His ethics and contributions to the industry are irreplaceable. Part of the reason to be here is to support him ... we're here in part to honor him."

As a longtime fan of racing who noted that he has seen many great champions over the years, from Seabiscuit to Round Table to Swaps to Secretariat to Cigar, Jackson also said he has many long-term goals with Curlin.

"My hope for Curlin is that he will help establish a change in the American attitude toward stamina and endurance, and about retiring a horse too soon," he said. "I'm in this for the love of the sport ... the Thoroughbred is a thing of beauty and there is no greater athlete."

And for Jackson, who has been joined in Dubai by his wife Barbara and two of their three children, there is no greater thrill than to be poised on the threshold of racing history with his own very special runner.

"I want him to be a world champion," he said, explaining that the journey down this path has been remarkably rewarding.

"We're having the fun of a lifetime."

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