Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, will see the addition of reigning Horse of the Year, Curlin, for the 2009 season. Curlin will be joining his sire, Smart Strike, who currently stands at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End.
The four-year-old colt out of Sherriff’s Deputy, by Deputy Minister, will stand for $75,000.
The Thoroughbred Times reports that Curlin retires as the leading earner in North American racing history with a bankroll of $10,501,800, gleaned primarily from seven Grade or Group 1 wins, including the 2007 Preakness Stakes (Gr1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (Gr1) and 2008 Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-Gr1).
The stud deal was finalized while majority owners Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, await a court ruling whether to approve their private offer to buy out the 20% interest of minority owners Shirley Cunningham and Bill Gallion.
“The Jacksons are due great credit for allowing our sport to enjoy this great champion as a four-year-old,” Farish said. “Many would have retired him after winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Horse of the Year honors as a three-year-old. Curlin’s performance on the track, his pedigree, and his conformation make him the most exciting sire prospect to retire in many years. We are honored to have him join his champion sire, Smart Strike, at Lane’s End.”
Smart Strike was the leading sire in North America last year when Curlin capped his championship season with a four-length victory in the $5 million Classic at Monmouth Park. Curlin’s triumphs in the Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster Handicap (Gr1), Woodward Stakes (Gr1), and Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (Gr1) have helped push Smart Strike to the top of the general sire’s list again this year.
“After a stellar racing career, Curlin is now in a position to carry on his iron horse bloodlines at Lane’s End, the premier stallion farm in the nation,” Jess Jackson said. “He is one of the best examples of the breed - fast, strong, and durable. I predict he will make a substantial contribution to our sport through his gene pool, and I am looking forward to seeing his foals compete and possibly exceed his unequaled race record.”
Bred by Fares Farm Inc., Curlin will join 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy and 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft on the Lane’s End roster. Curlin, who finished fourth to Raven’s Pass in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on 25 October in his final start, likely will be a top candidate along with Zenyatta in this year’s balloting for Horse of the Year. He would be the first back-to-back winner since Cigar, the 1995 and 1996 Horse of the Year who Curlin surpassed at the top of the all-time earnings list.
“Curlin made his mark in the history books in so many ways: as a classic winner, as a colt who traveled to Dubai and captured the Dubai World Cup, and who returned to take three more Grade 1 races and tally record earnings,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “His physical and mental attitude is unparalleled and he retires perfectly sound.”
“Watch Curlin winning the 2008 Dubai World Cup”