- Curlin is back in the barn, and since Asmussen said that he hasn't been told "a single word" about what to do with him, perhaps he should get him ready for the Stephen Foster! Marty McGee reported that they'll be a meeting within a week amongst the owners to decide what to do. I imagine that the two incarcerated attorneys, William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., need the cash to pay their legal bills. So if Jess Jackson and the two other owners who own a combined 80% decide to race Curlin next year, maybe they'll buy the jailbirds out.
Jackson was quoted in Joe Drape's article in the NY Times on Tuesday - the usual talk about the big dilemma about money versus the sporting aspect of racing him next year, at significant risk and relatively little potential reward.
“There’s an inner quarrel with me,” Jackson said. “Inside cerebrally, I’m saying, here is a horse that can help change the direction of breeding in America, maybe the world. [NY Times]C'mon man, give us a break with that crap. Do what you will, we know and understand about the money, but please spare us the changing the world stuff. Besides, that can wait another year.
Street Sense is of course off to stud, and how much more than $75,000 do you think they'd be getting if he won the Classic? He was on what I believe was the best part of the racetrack. But by the time Trevor Denman offered that "Street Sense is threatening to run a big one," Curlin was already leaving him in the
There's a lot of speculation now about Any Given Saturday coming back at four, since there was no announcement about a stud fee. I know they're blaming his performance on the slop like everyone else who didn't run well; but I'll still take his weak 6th place finish as vindication of my jumping off his bandwagon. He's a big, beautiful horse who was really babied through the summer/fall seasons. Seven weeks between the Haskell and Brooklyn; another five before the Classic. I see him as a poster child for this more time between races thing gone too far.
According to Haskin, Curlin came home each of his final two quarters in the Classic in :24 1/5. Not only did he handle the turns, but he propelled nimbly off the final one, right to the lead.
We can only hope that these guys do good for the sport, and let us enjoy Curlin in 2008. They all have plenty of money. And besides, look how much fun owner George Bolton is having!!
You'll never see this, or any guy, exultant like that, going: "YEAH, WOO! WE CHANGED THE DIRECTION OF BREEDING!" C'mon guys, give us all a thrill. Bring him back.
- On further examination, Trevor Denman's call of the Classic certainly was not his best of the day. Besides the instance cited above, the finish really showed where the Breeders' Cup misses Durkin. He has an extra reserve for climactic moments like that, while Denman, with his more limited vocal range, could only manage his "in an absolutely sty-lish performance!" We hear that from him on a routine basis in California. Stylish it was, but I think it warranted something far more emphatic and indicative of his domination of the race.
It wasn't ESPN's best moment either. They stuck to a close-up of the leaders as Denman was describing the unfolding drama of Curlin and Street Sense commencing their moves from the back.
- Turf winner English Channel will stand for $25,000; I swear, I was going to guess that exact figure. Like Curlin, English Channel is a son of Smart Strike, and, interestingly, like Curlin he's a complete outcross through his first five generations.
I think to get an idea of just how soft the course was, just listen to the race on the ESPN feed at Breederscup.com. You can really hear them clomping along and sense the heaviness of the going, yuck. I'm sure that a fair amount of Pick-Whatevers went out the window with Dylan Thomas. Not to speak for other bettors, but I'd surmise that some who singled him did so with a wing and a prayer, aware of the conditions, but desperate for a single somewhere in the sequence. John Murtagh said: "It was horrible ground and he's a real grass horse. He was losing his footing all the time and could never get competitive." [Press Association]