The Curlin story gets better and better. Bought as a yearling for $57,000, this time last year he had different owners, a different trainer and had yet to make his first start. Last night he was named [1] Horse of the Year and Three Year Old Male Champion. While accepting the award, majority owner Jess Jackson announced what most in the audience already suspected, the colt would be kept in training for racing in 2008, with the first major objective likely to be the $6,000,000 Dubai World Cup on March 29.

Curlin, winner of the Preakness, the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Breeders Cup Classic was a runaway winner of Horse of the Year, winning 249 of the 262 votes. He was an even more emphatic choice as Three Year Old Male Champion, winning all but three votes, which went to Kentucky Derby winner and runner-up in the voting Street Sense.

Jess Jackson is to be congratulated for the wins but more importantly thanked for keeping the colt in training. It's very rare these days to pass up the sure money that keeps from retiring three year old winners to stud immediately after the big wins of their three year old campaign. More and more often, they don't make it through their three year old season to the late summer or fall races much less kept in training at four. For racing to keep growing, fans need horses to identify with and that comes from the ability to market racing's stars for longer than a couple of months at a time. Curlin was a wonderful story last year and it's great that we will be able to follow him for another year. Let's hope that he is put to good use and the tracks racing establish don't waste this golden asset that Jess Jackson and the other owners have just placed in their laps.

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