Kentucky Derby hopeful Curlin nibbles at the hand of hot walker Juan Gonzales as he gets a bath outside Barn 38 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Monday, April 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Curlin won the $500,000 Woodward
Stakes to move a step closer to defending his Horse of the Year
title, beating long-shot Past the Point by 1¼ lengths Saturday at
Saratoga Race Course.
The $300,000 winner's share moved the Stonestreet Stable-owned
Curlin past Skip Away as the second-leading money winning
thoroughbred in history with more than $9.79 million and leaves him
less than $200,000 behind Cigar ($9.9 million).
Curlin, ridden by Robby Albarado, ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:49.34 in
en route to his fourth victory in five starts this year and sixth
straight win on dirt.
The Steve Asmussen-trained horse followed a fast pace set by the
runner-up, who ran the first six furlongs in 1:09.61, forcing the
1-4 favorite to make up almost 10 lengths in the last three
Curlin paid $2.70, $2.40 and $2.10. Past the Point returned
$13.80 and $6.40, and Wanderin Boy paid $3.50 to show.
Earlier, 4-year-old First Defense won the $250,000 Forego Stakes
after heavily favored Lucky Island stumbled badly at the break.
Channing Hill rode the Bobby Frankel-trained First Defense, who led
throughout the seven furlongs, finishing 6¾ lengths in front of
Greeley's Conquest in 1:21.55.
First Defense paid $17.60, $9 and $5 and earned $150,000 for
Juddmonte Farm. Greeley's Conquest returned $30 and $18.40, and
Ferocious Fires paid $10.40 to show.