Jul 22, 2008

Curlin: Gone from the lawn?

Curlin’s foray into turf racing was inconclusive to a number of observers. To me it was obvious that he is not nearly the presence on grass that he is on a standard dirt track.

Missing in his turf trial was the keen turn of foot found in virtually all grass champions.
The Curlin modus operandi is to stalk and wear down his opponents with his marvelous action and will to win.

His knockout punch did not materialize in the Man O’ War. It’s not likely that he could take on Europe’s best in the Arc and prevail. The nature of Longchamp militates against Curlin’s chances.

First of all, there are usually l5 to 20 horses in the Arc and Curlin’s burly conformation, so intimidating on the main track, may not serve him well in the clinches. Right handed turns are a challenge. So is the deep, wet ground generally prevalent in Paris in October.
Throw in the false straightaway which puzzles many a foreign jockey and shipping to Europe and you have a task too hard. Even for Curlin.