Curlin Wins Dubai World Cup With Ease

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Curlin surged to the lead in the stretch and then overpowered an international field to win the $6 million Dubai World Cup on Saturday.

The sensational 4-year-old colt was sent off as the 2-5 favorite against 11 rivals, and did not disappoint thousands of fans who packed Nad al Sheba racetrack to get an up-close view of the Horse of the Year in the world's richest race.

Under little urging from jockey Robby Albarado, Curlin blew past Well Armed and Asiatic Boy and cruised to a 7 3/4-length victory. The margin of victory was a World Cup record, topping the six-length win by Dubai Millennium in 2000.

After Curlin crossed the finish line, Albarado raised an index finger to the sky and said, "He's an amazing horse. I was just a passenger."

Curlin, who won the Preakness Stakes after finishing third in last year's Kentucky Derby, now has a four-race winning streak. The colt trained by Steve Asmussen won the Jockey Club Gold, the Breeders' Cup Classic and the Jaguar Trophy Handicap before his latest victory.

A son of Smart Strike, Curlin became the fourth horse to win the BC Classic and come back the next year to take the World Cup. The others were Cigar, Pleasantly Perfect and Invasor.

Well Armed was the leader, with Asiatic Boy second for most of the 1 1/4-mile race. Curlin raced comfortably behind in third until Albarado decided to make his move. When they took off, it was clear the big chestnut colt was so much better than the rest.

"My horse has run a marvelous race and he fought and fought to get his second place," Asiatic Boy's jockey John Murtagh said. "The winner is a monster."

Curlin earned $3.5 million for the victory and boosted his career earnings to $8,807,800 and into third place on the North American career list behind Cigar ($9.9 million) and Skip Away ($9.6 million), according to Equibase.

A.P. Arrow was fourth, followed by Great Hunter, Lucky Find, local favorite Jalil, Gloria De Campeao, Premium Tap, Sway Yed, Kocab and Vermilion.

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