Sea The Stars has been retired from racing by his connections after one of the most epic seasons in European racing history. This move quells any hope that this horse would be the one to lead the expected European invasion of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Instead, that honor will fall to Goldikova, Rip Van Winkle, and Mastercraftsman, all of whom seem worthy of picking up Europe's Breeders' Cup hopes. This still casts a major blow to the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita since they had been talking this week of making a serious effort to entice Sea The Stars' connections, trainer John Oxx and owner Christopher Tsui, to making the trip overseas.
My thought here is to applaud the connections of Sea The Stars for doing what seems right at this time. This horse has had nothing short of a grueling campaign this year, winning six Group 1 races in Europe, including the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe. As I have pointed out in an earlier posting on this blog, the Arc is not necessarily the greatest prep for the Breeders' Cup throughout the previous 25 editions. So, you would be asking this horse to fly halfway around the world to run on a surface that you don't know whether or not he will like off of a race that has yet to produce a Breeders' Cup winner ever? Truthfully, I don't like those odds at all. Sea The Stars may be a superhorse, but what would be the point of such an exercise? I think it would just be too much to ask of Sea The Stars to come over here with ridiculous hype and run a brilliant race just a month and a half after winning the race the connections had pointed to all along. Therefore, I applaud Oxx and Tsui for protecting their investment and not putting Sea The Stars through such an ordeal when they have absolutely nothing to gain and quite a bit to lose.
And, you star searchers out there? Well, I agree that racing is in need of stars right now and Sea The Stars might have been the brightest of the bunch. But, rather than have him possibly get tarnished, why not appreciate the stars we already have running at the Breeders' Cup like those I mentioned earlier and Zenyatta, Summer Bird, Regal Ransom, Informed Decision, Conduit, Lookin At Lucky, Zensational, Mine That Bird, and... do I really need to continue?
Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!