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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It's too bad that Mr. Jackson has to go all the way to Dubai to get the kind of attention he deserves as a person who has tried to bring honesty and sportsmanship back to the thoroughbred game.

Jackson's attempts to "clean up the sales" should have been been applauded and embraced by everyone, but you can't bring up his name in central Kentucky without having someone begin to curse him. When will Kentuckians understand that greed isn't good and honesty is?

Hooray for Jess and good luck to Curlin!


27 Mar 2008 1:20 PM
Monica V

Many thanks to Mr. Jackson for bringng Curlin back to race his 4 year old year.  So many really good horses retire at 3 and we never really know how good they could have been.  Smarty Jones was one of them.  I think he would have been better at 4 as well as Secretariat would have been.  

Thank you, Mr. Jackson, for letting us have a racing hero for another year.

27 Mar 2008 2:32 PM
Brian Appleton

I applaud Mr. Jackson, he's a God-send in the thoroughbred horse racing industry.  What a boost racing is going to get this year with a super star like Curlin racing on!!  Thank you Jess Jackson!!

27 Mar 2008 4:34 PM

What Hank said. Thanks for all you've done, Mr. Jackson!

27 Mar 2008 5:11 PM

Throughout history there has been those who have suffered for being bold and visionary. But time proved them right - even in the Thoroughbred industry. Racing is in trouble even if the big guys keep denying it. We NEED HEROES. We need Curlin. we need the average Joe on the street to know the name. Thank you Mr. Jackson.

27 Mar 2008 6:14 PM

Run him at five, please!  He'd be the only three-time Breeder's Cup Classic winner ever!

27 Mar 2008 10:16 PM

the man has a ton of class...he represents our country well...good luck to him & his people...

28 Mar 2008 12:44 AM

amen Mr. Sewbastion...big time...long live the King!!!

28 Mar 2008 12:49 AM
Katherine Cyrier

Thank you Mr. Jackson for being a true sportsman and allowing us to share your lifetime dream of seeing a true champion make racing history and race on past the age of 3.  

For all of us who have read Walther Farley's books, read of the Godolphin and Darley Arabian and all of the other "drinkers of the wind", pictures of Curlin racing across the sands of Nad Al Sheeba brings the vision to life.

Thank you.

Katherine Cyrier

28 Mar 2008 6:16 AM

All I can say is THANK GOD! for Mr. Jackson!   If ever the American People and indeed the racing world needed a hero it is now!   It seems that great horses come along when they are NEEDED by us mere humans.   Trouble it most of the time the humans attached to them retire them too soon and they are soon forgotten.   HOORAY! for Mr. Jackson and HOORAY for the mighty CURLIN........The "average joe" here in USA could sure use something to feel good about right about now!  Go BLOW their doors off in Dubai!    

28 Mar 2008 9:31 AM

Good luck to Curlin tomorrow, and thank God for Mr.Jackson running Curlin at 4!!

28 Mar 2008 6:53 PM

Tell Mr. Jackson we had Kendall-Jackson wine (Cabernet) for Easter dinner in honor of Curlin.

We thank him for continuing to keep Curlin running.

Good luck to all.

28 Mar 2008 8:01 PM

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