Barbaro Updates: 960
updates are now here.
Update 5686: This week's contribution to Eclipse Magazine (UK): Alex Brown 13 October 2009.
Update 5685: Sue McMullen provides a European perspective on the decision not to run Sea The Stars in the Breeders' Cup Classic and his retirement:
An additional perspective from this side of the Pond following news that we will no longer be privilged to see this wonderful horse on the racecourse.
Whatever fans might think about his retirement in terms of him not returning at 4, opinion was divided about his participation in the Breeders' Cup.
Whilst this might not be well received in the US, there was a strong belief here that the Breeders' Cup needed this horse more than he needed the Breeders' Cup.
Quite simply - he has nothing left to prove and given what he has achieved and in doing so, rewritten the history books here in Europe, to drag him to Santa Anita seemed to many people utterly pointless.
There is also a belief that not all roads must inevitably lead to the BC for top European horses and in winning the Arc, many fans expressed the view that the Arc should have been his finale for the season.
Whilst it is a great pity that we will not see his return to the track at 4, this always seemed unlikely given what he has achieved and his anticipated stud value.
Update 5684: Superfecta here, with your regular weekly update.
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 Star's 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.
Update 5683: No Breeders' Cup for the brilliant Sea The Stars, who is now retired to stud: SUPER SEA THE STARS RETIRED.
Update 5682: Eight horses today for Steve this morning at Woodbine. And it was a little warmer this morning, but only a little. All mine galloped nicely for a pretty straightforward morning's work. Hooh Why also left this morning for her new base, which I think is Keeneland. Hopefully she does well there.
Update 5681: This week's ABR Facebook Group E-mail: Tweet this: OLEX, ABR Radio, Michael Straight, Derby runners, Vet records, Fatal Bullet, Ernie Paragallo, Michelle Payne, Mine That Bird, Gitano Hernando, Zenyatta, Personal Ensign, Ajax Downs, Chelsey Willick, Tony Phillips, Charlie Browne, Smokey Stover, Hollywood Hit, Max.
And please keep calling.