11/22/2008 1:00AM

Curlin to stand for $75K at Lane's End

Barbara D. Livingston
Curlin, shown with majority owner Jess Jackson, will join his sire, Smart Strike, as a stallion at Lane's End Farm in 2009.

Curlin - the 2007 Horse of the Year, North America's all-time leading earner, and seven-time Grade 1 winner - will stand at Lane's End for $75,000 upon his retirement, the Versailles, Ky., farm announced Friday.

A 4-year-old colt, Curlin is by Smart Strike, who also stands at Lane's End and has a 2009 fee of $150,000.

Curlin's majority owner, Jess Jackson, indicated in a release issued Nov. 17 that Curlin might possibly race again this year before heading to stud "if an appropriate venue and purse are offered." That situation has not changed, but the colt will be retired as of Jan. 1.

Curlin has earned $10,501,800. He has won 11 of 16 starts and finished second and third twice each. In 2007, he scored Grade 1 victories in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Preakness Stakes, and Jockey Club Gold Cup to clinch the 3-year-old male championship and Horse of the Year title. He returned this year to take the Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster Handicap, Woodward Stakes, and his second consecutive running of the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

In his most recent start, Curlin finished fourth behind Raven's Pass in the 2008 Breeders' Cup Classic. He has not had a published work since then.

Curlin initially was trained by Helen Pitts for Midnight Cry Stable. After his first start, Midnight Cry sold a majority interest in the colt to Jackson, Satish Sanan, and George Bolton, and Curlin moved to trainer Steve Asmussen. Jackson subsequently bought out Sanan and Bolton.

Jackson owns 80 percent of the colt, with the remaining 20 percent held by Midnight Cry owners William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham, disbarred Kentucky lawyers who have a $42 million civil judgment against them because of mismanagement of $200 million in settlement funds they earned for clients in lawsuits over the diet drug fen-phen. Jackson and his wife, Barbara, have offered $4 million for Gallion and Cunningham's 20 percent stake in Curlin, but Gallion and Cunningham are disputing Jackson's valuation. The matter is the subject of a court hearing on Dec. 1 in Frankfort, Ky.

Fares Farms bred Curlin in Kentucky from the unraced Deputy Minister mare Sherriff's Deputy.

Will Farish, owner of Lane's End, credited Jackson's Stonestreet Stables for keeping the colt in training at 4 and called Curlin, "The most exciting sire prospect to retire in many years."

"He is one of the best examples of the breed - fast, strong, and durable," Jackson said. "I predict he will make a substantial contribution to our sport through his gene pool, and I am looking forward to seeing his foals compete and possibly exceed his unequaled race record."