05/17/2017 8:36AM

Curlin's Preakness win still fresh in Asmussen's mind


BALTIMORE – Ten years later, the excitement of the Preakness still resonates with Steve Asmussen.

It was on May 20, 2007, that Curlin, trained by Asmussen, ranged up alongside Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense deep in the Pimlico stretch before poking his chestnut head in front just before the wire. On the video replay, the win margin is barely discernible.

“The Preakness will always be extremely special to me because it was the first classic we won,” said Asmussen. “I remember Curlin’s victory in the Preakness vividly. When they put his number up, it was probably the single most exciting instance in my racing career.”

That’s saying a lot considering all Asmussen has accomplished. Curlin went on to win the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 2008 Dubai World Cup and was twice voted Horse of the Year. Rachel Alexandra won the Preakness and was voted Horse of the Year for Asmussen in 2009. The 51-year-old trainer was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame last summer.

Asmussen is back at Pimlico with two starters in the 2017 Preakness, Lookin At Lee and Hence. His most recent Preakness starter was Daddy Nose Best, ninth in 2012, giving him an overall record of 2 for 6 in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

:: Like this article? Get access to all premium articles, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.