Monday, November 24, 2008

Curlin to be paraded at Churchill Downs

The Blood-Horse 11/23/2008

Curlin, North America’s reigning Horse of the Year and the continent’s richest racehorse of all time with earnings of $10,501,800, will be paraded at Churchill Downs Nov. 29.

The 4-year-old Smart Strike colt has won seven grade I events, including Churchill Downs’ Stephen Foster Handicap. He is scheduled to be paraded on the main track between the fifth and sixth races, and a special salute in the paddock and/or winner’s circle will follow.

Stonestreet Stables owns 80% of Curlin, while Midnight Cry Stables owns the remaining 20%. Stonestreet's Jess Jackson and trainer Steve Asmussen permitted the parade in order to give racing fans perhaps their final opportunity to see the champion before he is retired to stud. He will stand for $75,000 at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky., in 2009.

“We’re thrilled to have another opportunity to showcase Curlin in front of his many fans in Kentucky,” Asmussen said. “For the past two years, he’s given our entire team numerous thrills and great memories. We’ve always considered Churchill Downs to be his ‘home’ track, and we’ll always remember that standing ovation he received after winning the Stephen Foster.”

The fifth race that day is scheduled for 1:28 p.m. (EST), and grandstand admission gates will open at 10 a.m.

Curlin won 11 of his 16 starts with two seconds and two thirds, and is the only horse in North American racing history to earn $5 million in back-to-back seasons. His prize money haul included $5,102,800 in 2007 and $5,399,000 this year.

Despite galloping daily at Churchill Downs, it appears that a fourth-place finish in the Oct. 25 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) was the final start of Curlin’s career.

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