Curlin is an American Thoroughbred racehorse and the highest North American money earner with over US$10.5 million accumulated. His major racing wins include the 2007 Preakness Stakes, 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic, and 2008 Dubai World Cup.
Curlin was sired by Smart Strike, a former star from the Sam-Son Farm racing team in Ontario, Canada. Smart Strike is a half-brother of 1991 Canadian Triple Crown winner Dance Smartly. He is out of the mare Sherriff's Deputy, a daughter of Canadian Horse of the Year and two-time North American Champion sire Deputy Minister.
The colt was named for Charles Curlin, an African American slave from western Kentucky who fought for the Confederate Army in the American Civil War. One of his original owners, Shirley Cunningham, Jr. through his interest in Midnight Cry Stables, is Charles Curlin's great-great-grandson.
In August 2008, Timeform assigned a 134 rating for Curlin, calling him the best horse in the world on dirt.