Japan was the center of most of the interest in the Thoroughbred world this weekend, both good and bad. First, the good. Vodka won the Grade 1 Japan Cup Turf this weekend in Tokyo, beating a field of eighteen of the world's best turf runners, including two-time winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf, Conduit. Here is the link for the replay of the race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qQbYS0lyvA. How about that for an exciting finish?
Now, the bad. Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird was sent over to Japan by his connections to try and win the Japan Cup Dirt this coming weekend. Summer Bird suffered an injury to his right front cannonbone following a workout over the Hanshin Racecourse. It is a shame that Summer Bird couldn't go on and run in the Dirt because he is clearly the best dirt horse that has ever been sent over to Japan by an American contingent. After his Belmont win, he was able to add victories in the Travers and Jockey Clob Gold Cup. He also ran 4th in the Breeders Cup Classic at Santa Anita behind the great Zenyatta. Summer Bird will likely be named top three-year-old male this year and it is hoped by his connections (not to mention racing fans) that he will be able to recover from this injury and race again in 2010.
Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!