06/22/2008 11:00PM

Curlin has 'smooth' work; turf next


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Curlin had his first workout since the Stephen Foster Handicap when he breezed an easy five furlongs early Monday over a fast main track at Churchill Downs.

With regular exercise rider Carmen Rosas aboard, and without company, Curlin proceeded through fractions of 13.26, 26.22, 38.80, and 51.33 seconds before hitting the wire in 1:03.81. His six-furlong gallop-out time was 1:17.02.

"I was very pleased with how he went to the track today," said trainer Steve Asmussen. "He looked beautiful. Nice and smooth."

The work came nine days after Curlin returned to action by posting a 4 1/4-length triumph in the Grade 1 Foster at Churchill. In his previous race, the 2007 Horse of the Year captured the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 29.

Asmussen said that the next race for Curlin most likely will come on turf, and that a workout on the Churchill turf on July 1 is his next move. He said the July 12 Arlington Handicap is the probable next race for the superstar colt, although the Man o' War on the same day at Belmont Park is a possible alternative.

Asmussen said the turf work at Churchill will be "seven-eighths, one time around from the wire, in company - nothing tremendous, just steady. Hopefully we'll have a good week weather-wise so that we can get done what we'd like."

Asmussen said if the turf work goes as he hopes, and "we get the indication that he's the horse we think he is," that a decision will be made soon thereafter on what the next race will be. As for working on the turf again, "That will be determined by where we run, how we're going to get there, those kind of details."

Curlin, owned primarily by the Stonestreet Stables of Jess Jackson, has earned more than $9.3 million in his 12-race career and is less than $700,000 from surpassing Cigar's all-time earnings mark of $9,999,185.

Borel both hot and lucky in return

Calvin Borel had an eventful weekend at Churchill. Borel, who had been out for a week with a strained knee, returned Friday by winning three races, then three in a row early on the Saturday program.

But later on the Saturday card, Borel got quite a scare when his mount in the ninth race, I Believe in Me, stumbled badly out of the gate, throwing him to the ground. Borel escaped without serious injury but took off his last two mounts as a precaution.

I Believe in Me, an earner of nearly $175,000, grabbed his quarter and incurred a laceration behind a knee but otherwise is fine, said trainer Paul McGee.

The $50,400 allowance race was won by Itsallboutthechase, at 16-1 the longest shot in a field of seven.

Bridgmohan mending after spill

Shaun Bridgmohan should be able to fulfill out-of-town engagements this weekend but until then is "day to day," according to his agent, after the veteran jockey was treated and released at a Louisville hospital following a spill in the first race Saturday.

"He has some cuts and bruises, but the good news is nothing is broken," said the agent, Doc Danner.

Bridgmohan, who turned 29 Tuesday, fell when his mount, Vinstar, suddenly broke down after cruising to the lead in deep stretch. After Bridgmohan came off and rolled toward the inner rail, a trailing horse appeared to make contact with him.

Vinstar, the 3-5 favorite, suffered multiple injuries and was euthanized. A 3-year-old Vindication colt, he was claimed from the race for $50,000 by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

Bridgmohan is scheduled to ride Friday at Prairie Meadows and Saturday at Hollywood Park.

Asmussen strong in Debutante

Asmussen, seeking his fourth straight victory in the Grade 3 Debutante Stakes, appears to hold a strong hand in the six-furlong race, which will highlight the coming weekend with its 108th running Saturday. Asmussen said he will run Simplify and Songtress, both winners in their first and only starts.

In all, Asmussen has won the Debutante four times, with Cashier's Dream (2001), Effectual (2005), Richwoman (2006), and Rated Fiesty (2007).

Churchill officials are expecting about eight to 10 2-year-old fillies for the $100,000 Debutante.

Student Council breezes for Gold Cup

In yet more news involving Asmussen, Student Council posted his final work toward the Hollywood Gold Cup when he breezed five furlongs Sunday morning in 59.60 seconds. Student Council, winner of the Grade 1 Pimlico Special in his last start, is a proven entity over synthetic surfaces, having upset the Grade 1 Pacific Classic last summer at Del Mar.

Bridgmohan has the mount on Student Council, a 6-year-old owned by Ro Parra.

Trio may head for Claiming Crown

The first three finishers in the seventh race Saturday could run next in the 10th annual Claiming Crown series, set for Aug. 2 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota.

Antrim County, Por Favor, and Bargainwiththedevil all are eligible to run back in the $50,000 Iron Horse, the first of seven races in the $600,000 series.

* Besides a carryover of $39,777 in the Super High Five on the last race Wednesday, there also is a pick-six carryover of $8,912 going into the day. The $2 pick six is offered on the last six races each day.

* Wednesday is the last chance to qualify for the finals in the bi-weekly handicapping contest at Churchill. The finals are set for Sunday.