Curlin: 2007 Horse of the Year
Well folks, I’m starting to get giddy with excitement. You see, several months ago I started this blog in large part due to my ongoing infatuation with Curlin. No horse has ever quite touched me as deeply as he does, and the few moments I’ve been able to cheer my heart out for him rank as some of the greatest sports memories of my entire life. On Thursday it’s going to be, in a word, bedlam in the Stafford residence. Curlin is set to make his 2008 debut at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai in a $175,000 prep race for the prestigious Dubai World Cup next month.
Many of you are no doubt well aware that Curlin had been training with 3 year old phenom Pyro prior to his departure for Dubai, and Pyro’s run in the Risen Star coupled with suggestions that Curlin has a “spring in his step” lately have me burning with anticipation to see him kick off his 2008 campaign. I made the comment on here months ago that “if he returns to racing, his 2008 season could be the stuff of legends.” I stand by that statement. I”m convinced he’s one of the most amazing animals to ever grace our beloved sport with his presence.
That being said, their is reason for concern. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Curlin, and if his history is any indication, he did appear rusty in the Haskell after resting from the Triple Crown series. Likewise, as trainer Steve Asmussen has indicated in previous comments, Curlin tends to need a race over a track before he shows up with his best effort. Of course, the colt is also capable of turning in jaw-dropping performances the first time he steps foot on a track, as we saw in his amazing Preakness run.
Curlin’s amazing victory in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in May of 2007.
What does all this mean for horseplayers? Well, not much from a betting perspective. For starters, I don’t even think I can wager on Nad Al Sheba. Further, it’s not like a super-horse like Curlin is going offer any value at the windows even if I could wager on him. Thursday isn’t going to be about betting, you see. It’s going to be about the return of a superstar. A superstar our sport badly needs right now.
It actually wouldn’t surprise me if he were a bit rusty, though I’m sure Steve Asmussen has done a grade A job in getting the colt ready for action. I wouldn’t worry a bit if he turned in a clunker, because we all know what kind of competitor the horse is bound to show up as on World Cup day. Perhaps my greatest honor will be in posts like this blogging about his races at Nad Al Sheba. The last time he ran, this blog had not yet launched, so for a passionate Curlin fan like myself, this week has seemingly taken forever to arrive.
I’d just like to take the time to officially say to Curlin and his team: “Get ‘em boy!!!! You’re the best horse in the world! You let those other heathens know it!”
Show them what a winner is Curlin. Show them how a champion gets it done!