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Curlin…and Jalil?

With Curlin’s advance on Cigar’s all-time earnings mark continuing on Saturday in the Woodward, Andrew Beyer examines how his majority owner, Jess Jackson, has ruffled feathers within the industry in his comparatively short time as a major player. Of course, those unhappy with the way he has tackled the game seem to have been those most entrenched in maintaining the status quo of inflated, dodgy auction prices, a quick exit to stud for promising colts and a general Say Yes to Drugs policy. I may not agree with everything he has to say, but I’m certainly glad to have him aboard — Jess, have your people drop me a line anytime you’d like to talk about a high-profile series of quality races for the 4-plus set.

NYRA has responded to Curlin’s Woodward appearance by setting up a microsite for the champ (although we’ve known the Woodward was going to be his next start for some time, but still, better late than never). I can’t say much for the design, but I like the podcasts and it’s nice to see them making the effort. Jockey Robby Albarado’s ‘blog’ on the site may not really be one, but it does have some nice content:

When he was schooling in the paddock the other day, he had a crowd watching him. That’s how popular Curlin is. I had a 10-year-old kid ask me the other day how Curlin was doing. If a 10-year-old is asking about a specific horse, then that horse has made a pretty powerful impact. I think that’s what we’ve got to do, is target young fans, because that’s the future. Curlin even has a page on his website for kids where they can play a game with photos of him [] which I think is great.

Amen to that.

Of course, Curlin will not be the only horse in the race (Divine Park looks dangerous too), but it’s great to see a star where he should be – taking on other horses at the nation’s best race meet. That’s not exactly where Second Most Expensive Horse Sold at Auction, Jalil, will be this weekend (and a hat-tip to Val for discovering his whereabouts) – he’s at Suffolk Downs for the Waquoit Stakes.

It seems an unusual spot for any Godolphin horse, but perhaps it’s a confidence-building prep for something else. Given their (comparatively) bad luck in Europe this year, I can see why they would want to aim Jalil at the Breeders’ Cup – or maybe they are trying to get the most out of their expensive purchase by running where he can still get a little chemical edge – it’s his first time on Lasix this weekend. He has won in England and Dubai (presumably sans drug cocktail), which is more than can be said for The Green Monkey, albeit not against the best company (yet not against hopeless claimer either – he seemed pretty mid-pack).

Jalil only ranks 102nd in the Godolphin firmament at present, at least insofar as that’s how many points he has earned for players in their Seven Stars online competition. Apparently Seven Stars is ‘the world’s greatest free-to-enter online horseracing competition’ which is news to me – why have I previous not heard of it when I actually visit their website fairly frequently? I will have to keep an eye out for next year’s competition, since the prizes for this one blow Road to the Roses out of the water – major cash prizes and a trip to Dubai are a little more compelling than a few Derby tickets, much as I’d like those.

They also have a handy mobile version of their site and the game – take notes, CDI!

3 comments to Curlin…and Jalil?

  • Kennedy

    The contest actually is quite popular. I’ve been playing it since it started back in 2000.

    In the first year they gave away some sweet prizes like gold bars and a rolls royce. Now you have to settle for cash and a dream vacation.

    It would be better if Godolphin actually had some serious horses this year. The stable has been on the wane for probably 3 years or more.

  • Winston...not really

    Thanks for the pointer to this.

    Guess I’ll start packing my bags for Dubai now.

  • Superfecta

    I agree, Godolphin just doesn’t seem to have much these days. I think they realized they shot themselves in the feet with the whole ‘avoid Coolmore stallions’ thing, but it’s a long road back.

    I’m all about a free trip to Dubai, though!

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