The Brock Talk

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thoughts, Comments and Questions About Super Saturday and Such.

(Photo: Sunday Silence and Easy Goer battled in a classic Preakness)

As they like to say down here in Texas, Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Summer Bird has all the fixins of a Champion 3-Year-Old Male. He is now the first 3-year-old since Easy Goer in 1989 to win the Belmont Stakes (gr. 1), Travers (gr. 1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. 1) in the same year. Although Easy Goer also had victories in the Swale, Gotham (gr. 2), Wood Memorial (gr. 1), Whitney (gr. 1) and Woodward (gr. 1) to his credit that year, Sunday Silence was named Champion 3-Year-Old Male and Horse of The Year. Sunday Silence won the Kentucky Derby (gr. 1), and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. 1) as well as the Preakness (gr. 1), Super Derby (gr. 1), Santa Anita Derby (gr. 1) and San Felipe (gr. 2) for five grade 1 wins in 1989 compared to six for Easy Goer but still got the title with the Classic the deciding race.

Perhaps the most impressive winner of the weekend was Sea the Stars, who won his sixth consecutive group 1 race by taking the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, the marquee horse race of France. Jockey Michael Kinane had intentially placed Sea the Stars wedged among mid-pack traffic early in the race in an effort to relax the European star. But the plan nearly backfired when the congestion failed to clear and Sea the Stars looked trapped as the field raced down the straighaway of the 1-1/2 mile Arc. But a sliver of a hole opened up with less that two furlongs (1/4-mile) to run and Kinane and Sea of Stars found it, ran through it, and left it and the rest of the field on their way to a two-length victory.

No word from trainer John Oxx on whether Sea the Stars will race in the Breeders' Cup, but he said it is definitely being considered. The Buffalo Bills will have a half-time celebration this season in honor Youmzain, who finished second in the Arc de Triomphe for the third consecutive year.

Music Note was as impressive as expected in winning the grade 1 Beldame at Belmont Park Saturday. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, she notched her second consecutive grade 1 victory after taking the Ballerina in August at Saratoga. Shortly after the Beldame, trainer Saeed bin Suroor confirmed Music Note will be going into the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic where she will likely be the favorite. Unbridled Belle was a courageous runner-up in trying to win her second Beldame in three years, but third-place finisher Copper State may be the horse to watch. There was nothing in her Belame that I saw or in any of her previous races for that matter. It was in Crushing the Cup where I noticed that the last two winners the Ladies Classic to come out of the Beldame were Round Pond in 2006 and Ginger Punch in 2007. Both finished third in the Beldame.

It does not appear that the first two finishers in Saturday's Vosburgh (gr. 1) will be headed to the $2 Breeders' Cup Sprint but may instead meet again in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Nov. 28 at Laurel Park in Maryland. Winner Klassic Cowboy and runner-up Fabulous Strike have plenty of options, according to their connections, with only Klassic Kowboy considering the Cup.

Trainer Bob Baffert said his undefeated Norfolk Stakes (gr. 1) winner Lookin' at Lucky is something special. "He’s a pretty exciting horse," Baffert said after the Norfolk. "He’s got power steering. He’s not one dimensional. He has something different than my other ones, so it’s pretty exciting.” Exciting indeed, considering Baffert has won the Norfolk Stakes five times, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile twice and the Kentucky Derby three times.


EquiSpace said...

Youzmain needs one more second before he can even think about claiming Bills status!

Brock said...

EquiSpace, And I thought I was being tough on the Bills.