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Curlin to make turf debut at Belmont, not Arlington
Associated Press

Curlin, reigning Horse of the Year, will run in Saturday's Man o'War Stakes at Belmont.


Associated Press

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Published: 7/8/2008 2:39 PM

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The time has arrived for Curlin to test the turf.

The reigning Horse of the Year will make his debut on turf Saturday in the $500,000 Man o'War Stakes at Belmont Park.

Curlin has won nine of 12 career races on the dirt, including the Preakness and the Breeders' Cup Classic last year and the Dubai World Cup in March. After his last victory, in the Stephen Foster Handicap on June 14, trainer Steve Asmussen said the 4-year-old colt would be pointed to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Oct 5.

Curlin, owned by Stonestreet Stable's Jess Jackson, had a productive workout on the turf course at Churchill Downs on July 1, working 7 furlongs in 1:31.20. He breezed 4 furlongs in 50.80 seconds over the dirt at Churchill on Monday.

The Arc, run on the turf, is considered the premier race in Europe.

"I think this is about the horse's legacy," Asmussen said on a national conference call Tuesday. "To have won the Breeders' Cup Classic in such a strong running ... winning the Dubai World Cup. I think that international racing is going to be very strong in the future and they want Curlin to be in the forefront of that movement."

Asmussen chose the 1 3/8th-mile Man o'War over Saturday's Arlington Park Handicap at Arlington Park.