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Sea the Stars Makes Room for the Lady?

Although we had the rare luxury last weekend of enjoying racing on normal-ish television for two days in a row, we’re now in that odd pre-Breeders’ Cup holding pattern, where we wait on the who’s-going-where decisions.

One that’s already been made is that Sea the Stars will not be coming to the Breeders’ Cup, but will, instead, be going directly to stud. John McCririck (he of the mutton chops and deerstalker) sounded positively heartbroken:

“Obviously commercially this is the right decision as he could only harm his reputation, by either defeat or the possibility of injury.

“But if he had stayed in training there could have been world tours, virtually. Everywhere he turned up crowds would have come just to see this phenomenon. Horse racing would have had its very own Usain Bolt.

“He would have been an absolute star attraction and it would have been fantastic for the sport, so it’s very sad that commercial realism has taken over.”

Sea the Stars’ owner, Christopher Tsui, put it this way:

“We feel it is unfair to keep him going any further given his unprecedented record of achievement in the last six months.”

I’d point out that Rachel Alexandra’s unprecedented record of achievement in the last six months does not preclude her racing next year – but there you are. You can still relive Sea the Stars’ brief-but-exciting career in photos.

Fortunately, we still have Zenyatta, who extended her unbeaten streak on Saturday in the Lady’s Secret. The absence of Sea the Stars has to make the Breeders’ Cup Classic more appealing to her connections – but of course, the same will be true for other top horses. She hasn’t faced much of anything this season and she’ll have to step up her game if she does take on the boys (her Beyer was a 97, versus a 106 for Gitando Hernando – see below), but she’s one of the few American horses name-checked by the European press as a real threat in the Classic.

It’s easy to understand their writing off our homebred competition when some of our better 3-year-olds and older horses were easily beaten in the Goodwood by the aforementioned Gitano Hernando, a second- or third-string runner behind the likes of Sea the Stars and Rip Van Winkle who had not previously won a graded stakes race. (A small aside here – Gitano Hernando’s last race was nothing terribly exciting at Wolverhampton, but some may find the race notable for last year’s Marathon winner, Muhannak, finishing eighth. For myself, I haven’t been to Wolverhampton since a last-minute road trip to see My Life Story, an indoor band if ever there were one, play for some hippies in a field in 1996 – but I digress).

However, we do still have Einstein and Summer Bird (one can easily argue that Gio Ponti is also being overlooked in the Classic picture). Mine That Bird will also be heading to the Classic despite his lackluster showing in the Goodwood; he seemed uncharacteristically worked up before the race, so perhaps he was just having a particularly off day. Poor Tiago finished last, which is a shame; he’s always seemed to have more potential than his Derby-winning brother.

Presious Passion and Gayego also indicated that they would be prepared for their respective Breeders’ Cup divisions; Presious Passion beat Medici Code and Spring House in the Clement Hirsch with a view toward the Turf, while Gayego took the Ancient Title on his way to the Sprint.

And now we wait.

1 comment to Sea the Stars Makes Room for the Lady?

  • Anonymous

    As I mentioned on a previous comment, it would have been an awful lot of trouble to bring STS here when Rip Van Winkle can do the work for him.
    RVW wins–STS beat the BC winner, and on more than one occasion. It's not like winning on poly proves any sort of dirt talent.
    I also doubt, very much that Zenyatta runs in the Classic. Beyers aren't everything but she doesn't have one in the top 32 for the year over a mile. You have to like Summer Bird and RVW and Mastercraftman ahead of her.
    She might run decently (fifth or sixth flashing late) but she's not proven herself up to this class.

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