07/07/2008 12:00AM

Curlin works. Next stop, turf.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Curlin had the final breeze leading to his career turf debut, going an easy half-mile in 50.80 seconds early Monday over a fast main track at Churchill Downs.

With regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas aboard, and without company, Curlin went in splits of 13.20, 26.20, 38.80, and 50.80, with a five-furlong gallop-out in 1:05, according to Equibase clockers.

Curlin, the 2007 Horse of the Year and the winner of his last five races, is embarking on an ambitious turf career that his connections are hoping will result in a start in the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France in October. The colt’s turf debut could come as early as Saturday in the Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park or the Arlington Handicap, although licensing issues must first be resolved concerning the Midnight Cry Stable, a 20-percent owner in the colt.