Curlin wins Arkansas Derby by record margin

Apr 15, 2007 - 12:31 AM HOT SPRINGS, Arkansas (Ticker) -- Curlin rolled to another lopsided victory on Saturday, winning the $1 million Arkansas Derby by a record 10 1/2 lengths at Oaklawn Park.

It was the third win in as many starts for the chestnut colt, who has established himself as a major contender for the Kentucky Derby.

After winning his maiden race at Gulfstream Park in February with a 12 3/4-length romp, Curlin captured the Rebel Stake here last month by five lengths.

Still he was considered a bit unproven coming into this race with nine other 3-year-olds. But Curlin passed the test with flying colors, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 50.09 seconds. He paid $3.60 to win, $3.00 to place and $2.40 to show.

Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Robby Albarado, Curlin overtook fast-starting Deadly Dealer around the second turn and pulled away, opening a huge lead down the stretch.

Others have used this race as a stepping stone to the Run for the Roses. Notable winners here include Smarty Jones (2004) and Afleet Alex (2005).

Deadly Dealer, which was ridden by John Velazquez, slipped to third. Storm in May was second.

Out of the barn of Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, Deadly Dealer was making his two-turn debut following front-running wins in a maiden special weight and a first-level allowance in his last two starts.

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