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2008 Jockey Club Gold Cup

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Curlin wins the 2008 Jockey Club Gold Cup
Curlin defeats Wanderin Boy by a neck in the 2008 Jockey Club Gold Cup

Curlin defeats Wanderin Boy by a neck in the 2008 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park

© Terence Dulay
September 27, 2008

Last year's winner and Horse of the Year Curlin attempted to rewrite the record books on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) by breaking Cigar's all-time earnings record as well as breaking the $10 million plateau. As expected, Curlin was sent off as the 2-5 favorite in the field of 8, exiting a win in the Woodward. In to challenge the champion included 4-1 second choice Mambo In Seattle, second by a nose in the Travers last out, and 7-1 Wanderin Boy, third to Curlin in the Woodward. Rains all day Friday and overnight downgraded the track to sloppy.

Wanderin Boy set a slow pace of 24.67, 48.79, 1:13.08, and 1:36.70, with Merchant Marine stalking him a length behind the whole way. Regular jockey Robby Albarado kept Curlin out of trouble out wide in 5th down the bacstretch. Turning for home, Albarado asked Curlin to put in his bid for the lead, and the champion gradually gained on Wanderin Boy. The pair dueled from the 3/16 to the 1/8 pole, before Curlin finally pulled ahead late to win by just 3/4 length in a time of 2:01.93. It was a long 3 3/4 lengths back to Merchant Marine third.
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