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Curlin going to Lane's End

When Curlin finally leaves the racetrack, he will head to Lane's End Farm to stand at stud for $75,000, beginning in 2009.

That fee will make him the top-priced newcomer in a field that will include Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, who will stand at Three Chimneys for $65,000.

Lane's End announced the coup Friday; the Versailles farm already stands Curlin's sire, Smart Strike, for $150,000 for 2009.

The 4-year-old Curlin has racked up more than $10.5 million on the track, winning 11 out of 16 starts, including winning the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic. He is the reigning Horse of the Year and is a candidate to repeat that honor.

Primary owner Jess Jackson, who is trying to buy out the minority share mired in legal difficulties, has said he would consider racing the colt one last time before the end of the year if the right race came along. Jackson owns 80 percent of the horse and has offered $4 million in court for the rest. A hearing is scheduled Dec. 1.

"After a stellar racing career, Curlin is now in a position to carry on his iron horse bloodlines at Lane's End, the premier stallion farm in the nation," Jackson said in the news release. "He is one of the best examples of the breed — fast, strong and durable. I predict he will make a substantial contribution to our sport through his gene pool and I am looking forward to seeing his foals compete and possibly exceed his unequaled race record."

Lane's End owner Will Farish said, "The Jacksons are due great credit for allowing our sport to enjoy this great champion as a 4-year-old. Many would have retired him after winning the Breeders' Cup Classic and Horse of the Year honors as a 3-year-old. Curlin's performance on the track, his pedigree and his conformation make him the most exciting sire prospect to retire in many years. We are honored to have him join his champion sire Smart Strike at Lane's End."

As a 3-year-old, Curlin won the Preakness, the Breeders' Cup Classic and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Then, at 4, he won the Dubai World Cup, the Stephen Foster Handicap and the Woodward Stakes, and was second in the Jockey Cup Gold Cup, which put him over the top as the leading money winner of all time in North America.

"Curlin made his mark in the history books in so many ways: as a classic winner, as a colt who traveled to Dubai and captured the World Cup, and who returned to take three more Grade 1 races and tally record earnings," said Steve Asmussen, Curlin's trainer. "His physical and mental attitude is unparalleled, and he retires perfectly sound."