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HORSE RACING

Curlin not likely to run in Classic

June 17, 2008|Bob Mieszerski

Local fans hoping for a first-hand look at the best thoroughbred in the world are not likely to get their wish.

Curlin, the reigning horse of the year and defending Breeders' Cup Classic winner, is not expected to participate in the 2008 Classic on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

After the 4-year-old easily won the $1-million Stephen Foster Handicap on Saturday at Churchill Downs, trainer Steve Asmussen said he would work Curlin toward a turf race on July 12 or 13. The possibilities are the $500,000 Man O'War at 1 3/8 miles at Belmont Park and the $200,000 Arlington Handicap at 1 1/4 miles at Arlington Park in Illinois.

The ultimate target for Curlin, who ranks third on the all-time North American earnings list, is the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Oct. 5.

The plans could change if Asmussen determines Curlin doesn't care for turf, but he has made it clear he's not a fan of synthetic main tracks, which is what Santa Anita has.

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-- Bob Mieszerski

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