So, despite going through the motions of polling fans, Jess Jackson and company have decided it’s back to dirt for Curlin, in the G1 Woodward on August 30. I admit to being disappointed, but they are right about one thing: he needs real training on turf and that's not happened thus far. Given the switch back to dirt, I'm thinking the G1 Japan Cup Dirt has got to be the ultimate goal this year. Hey, what better way to establish Curlin's greatness to yet another potentially-lucrative breeding market. Isn't the goal world-wide domination?
Given their recent bluster, you’d think Dutrow and IEAH would send Big Brown to the Spa to answer the question once and for all which is the better horse...but it will never happen, and not just because 3-year-olds rarely if ever try the Woodward. There's no way Big Brown can run well against Curlin in four weeks, if ever. Plus, for all their bravado, IEAH hardly wants their money-maker suffering an embarassing defeat.
Thus, the logical next question is: who will go up against Curlin? G1 Met Mile winner Divine Park skipped the Whitney to point towards the Woodward, but who else? And does it really matter? When was the last walk-over victory in a G1 race? Will we see one come Labor Day weekend?
Speaking of the big chestnut, if you haven’t yet seen her work you will definitely appreciate artist Sharon Crute’s newest rendering of Curlin, posted on her blog. She has painted some beautiful works, like this one. Check it out.
While searching Saratoga’s web site for Woodward nominations (they haven’t yet closed thus unavailable), I did see that Hostess is nominated for the G1 Sword Dancer on August 16. I’m thrilled to see the mare may take on the boys, an idea I posited here. It is her optimum distance (12 furlongs), and other than Presious Passion, she’s unlikely to be outraced by this bunch. Please, let her run!