Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend Review

(G1) Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

The story was Sea The Stars going in and he delivered a stirring effort to win the Arc, a race that apparently has cemented his status amongst the great horses of all time in Europe. I say "appears" because I don't know nearly enough about foreign racing and its history to have a really good opinion one way or the other. (Though I enjoy reading about the great Brigadier Gerrard from time to time)

What I do know is that him becoming the first horse to ever win the Guineas-Derby-Arc treble coupled with the manner in which he won the race Sunday is very impressive.

After breaking sharp, Sea The Stars was rank throughout the first mile of the race being tucked in behind horses on the rail. Turning into the straight you couldn't help but question whether the horse was going to find the necessary room to make a run for it.

A slight hole finally appeared and despite some contact to claim the position, the colt turned on the afterburners and quickly found himself a couple lengths the better of the field.

It cannot be overlooked that his trip in the race would have humbled many a good horse. Great horses though, find a way...

(G1) Jockey Club Gold Cup

The year of the off track continued Saturday, as well as the ascension of Summer Bird up the ranks. He may not better better than Rachel Alexandra, but he is better than every other dirt horse in the world.

In fact I'd go as far as to say he is the second best horse in training in North America. (Surpassing even Zenyatta in terms of current ability) This little horse has really lived up to his potential and has impressed me by developing a little fight on the front end. He is by no means a speed horse, but he has shown some real pep early in each of his last three races. Adding that to his stamina based pedigree has created a really fine racehorse.

I'm not optimistic about any non Euro, much less an east coast-dirt horse, winning the Classic this year but he could be a big factor if he fires over the synthetic surface. If the BC was on dirt this year, he'd be the logical favorite.

I certainly need to tip the hat to Quality Road. He was in much better condition for this race and it showed as he fought a very good horse to the wire, despite the stamina edge his rival held.

I really hope Quality Road comes back next year. I do believe with a winter to further develop and some much needed experience under him, he could turn into a real monster next year. I could easily see this horse dominating the east coast, knocking down 3-4 G1 races. (If not more)

Hopefully the depressed market will keep him around.


The_Knight_Sky said...

Rail Tout wrote:

...but he has shown some real pep early in each of his last three races.

Summer Bird's ascension to the top of the 3 year old colt division corresponds with this blinkers on move during midsummer.

He has become a very tactical and dependable horse pretty much in the same mold as a Rachel Alexandra - tactically speaking.

Now comes the easy part.
Where to go from here?

The answer is to simply stay put and await Mine That Bird to do yet another flop in California to ensure an Eclipse Award. I have a feeling that it's a done deal.

Gary said...

I have to agree Summer Bird has the Eclipse in his grasp. The Belmont-Travers-JCGC treble is damn impressive, more-so than just the Derby.

I'm not sure if the Goodwood is enough to unseat Summer Birdie, but another G1 win for Mine That Bird will make things very shaky for Summer Bird.

The Derby carries so much weight in the voting.

I highly doubt Mine That Bird will take down another G1 this year. (Though I could see him hitting the board in the next two)