11/17/2008 12:00AM

Curlin will not race in 2009

Barbara D. Livingston
Curlin will be retired at the end of the year to stand at stud beginning in 2009, but could race once more this year.

Curlin, the 2007 Horse of the Year, will be retired at the end of the year to stand at stud beginning in 2009, but could race once more this year, according to a press release sent out late Saturday evening by the Stonestreet Farms of Jess Jackson, Curlin's majority owner.

"If an appropriate venue and purse are offered,” Jackson said, “we would consider one more race in 2008 for Curlin.”

Curlin most recently finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting. He has been in light training at Churchill Downs since that race, but has not had a published workout. According to the press release, "Stonestreet Farms will consider offers from stallion stations as well as possibly standing Curlin itself."

Jackson's Stonestreet property is near Lexington, Ky.

Curlin has won 11 times in 16 starts and earned $10,501,800, the most earnings of any horse based in North America. He made $5 million both last year and this year. His biggest victories this year came in the Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster Handicap, Woodward Stakes, and a repeat win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

“Curlin has proven himself across two continents with 16 starts, the honor of 2007 Horse of the Year and the greatest North American money-earner in racing history,” Jackson was quoted as saying in the press release. “He always gave it his all and has done everything we have asked of him. I am proud to announce that he will start a new career in 2009 and contribute his soundness, stamina, durability and athleticism to the breed. I am looking forward to seeing his foals compete and possibly exceed his unequaled racing record."

In 2007, Curlin won the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby, Preakness Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup, and Breeders' Cup Classic, and was third in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Belmont Stakes.

He has been trained by Steve Asmussen for every race but his debut, when he was trained by Helen Pitts. Following that race, Curlin was purchased by a partnership that included Jackson. He has subsequently bought out most of his partners and currently holds 80 percent of Curlin.