Conquering the World

Together, trainer Steve Asmussen, jockey Robby Albarado and owner Jess Jackson have won more than 8,000 races—but none even remotely like the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).

Not only was the winner’s prize of $3.6 million from the $6 million purse the largest on the planet, but they were also able to share the international stage with Middle Eastern royalty and global dignitaries as they unleashed the red streak named Curlin to make his mark on history.

This exceptional horse carried them all on a ride they will never forget.

“This is by far the most amazing experience I’ve ever felt as a jockey,” declared Albarado, who has ridden Curlin to all his major wins, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

“It’s not about the money,” he said after receiving a gold whip for the victory from Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. “It’s about the pride and glory of being here with the sheikh. This is such an honor.”

“For him to prove he is the best horse in the world on this stage is a dream come true,” declared Asmussen, who earned his own gold whip as winning trainer. “Curlin has spoiled us with who he is, and we hope it continues.”

One of the most remarkable aspects of Curlin’s tremendous 7 ¾-length triumph over United Arab Emirates Triple Crown winner Asiatic Boy in a time of 2:00.15 for the 2,000 meters was that the colt hardly seemed as if he had exerted himself.

Curlin and kidsBack at the test barn, Curlin leaped in the air with exuberance, as if savoring the victory in his own way. He drank less than a bucket of water and pulled on exercise rider Carlos Rosas, who led him while he was cooling out. Yet when assistant trainer Scott Blasi took the shank and guided him over to where Asmussen’s three young sons were standing by a railing, Curlin gently put his head down and let the boys pat him.

“It was like nothing happened,” Rosas said incredulously of how Curlin returned after the race. “He was just walking like he was a cool dude.”

Leading Curlin with the end of the shank draped over his shoulder, Blasi could only laugh when asked how the victory felt after spending six weeks aiming at this target so far away from home. He found no words to express it, but the smile on his face spoke for him.

“It’s very special,” said Asmussen softly after watching his children touch Curlin on the nose. All the time he and Blasi and other members of his staff have spent both working with Curlin and answering interminable questions from the media has been a most rewarding investment because, he declared, “Curlin deserves it.”

But perhaps racing fans got the best news from Albarado, who pronounced: “The best is yet to come from this guy.

“This is the best horse in the world,” he said. “I still can’t get him to blow. He’s not even tired. It’s so easy when you ride a horse like Curlin. He just does everything so effortlessly.”

17 Comments

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Paul

I just wanted him to break clean and I was relieved to see he did.

Then I was a little concerned to see him on the pace, a little wide and, what appeared to be, sweating like a pig.

Man Alive!!!

Did half of that field just not show up?

Is he THAT good/great?

Both?

Lean, mean, fast, confident, dominant, …

Thank you Mr. Jackson for giving Curlin and the Team the opportunity to make history.

To the fans of Thoroughbred Racing this is PRICELESS !!!

30 Mar 2008 5:09 PM
Bellwether

WOW...long live the KING!!!

30 Mar 2008 5:44 PM
Monica V

I knew he would win but I had no idea it would be as sensational as it was!  What a horse!

30 Mar 2008 5:59 PM
Rggc

What a special horse Curlin is! And how luck are we to live in his world? I wrote a couple of days ago how I was lucky enough to see this great horse run twice at Monmouth, now I wonder will I get a chance to see him one more time here or elsewhere. If I have to travel to BeLomont it will be worth it. The Long Island Exspressway be damned!!!

30 Mar 2008 6:25 PM
Gregg Anderson

   Curlin ran super

      So effortlessly

         WOW..

Thank-you for all the updates

from Dubai.....

       We all eagerly await his next race....

30 Mar 2008 7:16 PM
B4TAXES

I would like to see if curlin can conquer the turf since he is out of smart strike. If he can win the arc it would be incredible.

30 Mar 2008 7:23 PM
trish

Curlin is the best horse in the WORLD!!! I am so glad that Scott and Carlos are getting credit for the wonderful job that they did with Curlin....

30 Mar 2008 7:52 PM
Edie

Curlin was a "Cool Dude" when I saw him last August before the Haskell. And Scott Blasi was one very proud and friendly guy. Even though that was one of the few races Curlin "only" came third in, I took almost fifty pictures of him gladly. I look forward to watching him prove what a great horse he is.

30 Mar 2008 8:25 PM
Debbie

Thank You Mr. Jackson for your class & selflessness by allowing racing fans to enjoy the magnificence of Curlin for another year. Congratulations to Robby for bringing the champ home safe & sound in such spectacular fashion. Curlin - you remind me so much of the great Secretariat & Man o'War. I hope history will regard you in the same light.    

30 Mar 2008 9:06 PM
p-man

Curlin is the BEST! I have been a fan of Curlin since before the Rebel at Oaklawn. I have been lucky to see him run in person three times. I want to thank Jess Jackson letting Curlin to be a race horse and have a chance become a horse of legends.

Thanks, again to everyone.

30 Mar 2008 10:04 PM
Jerry Peterson

I've been a fan since his win at the Preakness last year.  He became a great champion when another great champion, Barbaro could no longer race. I was so happy to see the race coverage on ESPN2 yesterday, though too short it was.  Thanks to all Curlin's connections for this win and allowing us to savor all Curlin's great racing acommplishments.  Keep the streak going!

30 Mar 2008 10:46 PM
GOLD STAR FARM

THE KING OF SWORDS HAVE SPOKEN!!!

LONG LIVE THE KING!!!

TO TEAM CURLIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR KEEPING HIM HEALTHY, SOUND AND SHOWING THE HORSE RACING WORLD, THAT KEEPING A GOOD HORSE RACING BEYOND HIS 3 YRO RACES GIVE HIM A SHOT AT INMORTALITY, WILL TRIPLE THE VALUE AT STUD AND THE FANS, THE RACING GAME "THE SPORTS OF KINGS" WILL BE BETTER FOR IT.

CURLIN WITHOUT A DOUBT IS:

      "I AM LEGEND"

FOR ALL THOSE INVOLVED WITH THIS HORSE FROM BREEDING, TRAINING, RACING, (PLEASE DON'T FORGET HELEN PITTS, HIS FIRST TRAINER OF RECORD) THANK YOU, GOD BLESS ALL.

EMG  

30 Mar 2008 10:50 PM
Lisa

WAY TO GO CURLIN !! Not only is he the worlds tuffest and greatest horse but he is also the most proud one I have ever seen..My props go out to Pancho, Blasi and Rosas, In my eyes they are Curlins biggest fans, if not for them he wouldn't be as great as he is...Thank you for the wonderful care you give to him...Can't wait for his next win !! Hail To Curlin..

30 Mar 2008 10:52 PM
Maria

I knew since the Kentucky Derby that Curlin was the best in the world. I cried for joy when I watched him win the Classic on TV. I was confdent he would win the World Cup yet even I was awed by his dominating performance and the way he eyed his opponents. I pray that I will be able to see in person one day.

30 Mar 2008 10:58 PM
steve turner

A great thank you Jess Jackson for keeping Curlin in training. I hope the country gets to see him.

31 Mar 2008 10:28 AM
Lori U

Like I said the other day, this horse is a MONSTER. And the great thing is that I do not believe we have seen the best of him yet.  I think he's better than what he showed in Dubai. Did anyone see him walk back from the track with his assistant trainer and exercise rider, He is as perfect a specimen as they come. This horse is very special.

31 Mar 2008 5:04 PM
mike williams

Curlin's win is a source of pride for all Canadian fans, as his sire Smart Strike was bred and owned by Sam-Son Farms.Also, his dam sire the late Deputy Minister,the 1981 Eclipse Award 2yr old champion is also Canadian bred.

31 Mar 2008 5:20 PM

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