With celebration and nostalgia, the 2014 Hall of Fame class that began tinged with controversy was inducted on Aug. 8 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in a ceremony that honored two equine champions, Ashado and Curlin.
“My husband, Jess Jackson, loved this horse,” said Stonestreet Farm’s Barbara Banke of Curlin, a two-time Horse of the Year inducted in his first year of eligibility. Bred by Fares Farm out of the Deputy Minister mare Sherriff’s Deputy, the son of Smart Strike won the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I) twice, and the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) while setting a record for North American earnings.
He retired having won nine graded stakes, including seven group or grade I events.
Curlin began in the barn of Helen Pitts but was trained for all but one of his starts by Steve Asmussen, himself initially named a finalist for the 2014 Hall of Fame. Following the release of an undercover video by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals focusing on Asmussen’s assistant Scott Blasi, Asmussen was removed from the ballot by the National Museum of Racing’s Members Committee.
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Featured image of Curlin and Robby Albarado. Photo credit NYRA/Adam Coglianese