NEW YORK - Curlin will have another go at Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense in the Preakness.
Trainer Steve Asmussen said yesterday that his third-place finisher in Sunday's Derby came out of the race in good shape and is set for the second leg of the Triple Crown on May 19.
"The only hesitation was waiting for him to go back to the track" after his first defeat, Asmussen said during a conference call. "I was curious where he would be mentally."
Curlin went for a one-mile jog at Churchill Downs on Wednesday. Asmussen thought his lightly-raced colt might be nervous on his first trip back to the track.
"He's not shown any indication of that," Asmussen said. "His appetite has stayed good. He's a very big, strong horse and we're very pleased how he came out of race physically. He was very relaxed going to the track, and I just wanted to make sure it was still him."
Curlin won his first three starts by a combined 281/2 lengths, and went off as the 5-1 second choice in the Derby behind Street Sense. Robby Albarado will again be aboard the colt.
Curlin finished 53/4 lengths behind runner-up Hard Spun and eight lengths back of Street Sense.
"I don't think Curlin could have come out in any better shape," Asmussen said. "And I think he is capable at this level."
Hard Spun also returns for the 13/16-mile Preakness, along with 17th-place finisher Teuflesberg. Others Preakness probables include C P West, King of the Roxy, Xchanger, Flying First Class or Starbase (both trained by D. Wayne Lukas), and Mint Slewlep.