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Sea The Stars – Some Passing Thoughts

With the announcement today that the immortal Sea The Stars is being retired to stud, here’s a couple of quick thoughts:

* So See The Stars is done.  Great horse – no doubt – but as I covered here in a previous post I still don’t quite get why he’s greater than the “latest and greatest” to come out of Europe in several other recent years, let alone better than historical figures like Mill Reef or Sea-Bird in Europe or Secretariat and Man O’ War in the US, but apparently many people do.   It’s certainly not based on winning by open lengths, comparative margins of victory against the same horse, times, his thorograph figures, or his record.  But it appears there’s something else there that I’m missing because there are countless articles labeling him as such.  At least Steve Crist agrees with me.

* Here’s something else I don’t get.  Believe me, I understand economics as well as anyone, but if you have more money than you’ll ever need isn’t there a thrill to watching your horse continue to run if they’re regarded as one of the greatest horses to ever race?  I’m not saying to beat the horse into the ground, but wouldn’t you want to see him at 4 if he’s “fit and healthy” as John Oxx described him today?  Don’t people get into this game for the remote possibility of one day having a horse like this?  I presently own a small piece of several horses and watching them run in a maiden race is indescribably exciting.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like to own a true “great” or even a champion.  It just blows my mind that it’s so rare that someone ever says something like “You know what?  The horse is sound and feeling good and I don’t need the money and seeing him race is the most incredible feeling in the world so I’m going to bring him back next year.”   I understand the reasons for going to stud and the insurance considerations etc, but how does this  almost *never* happen these days?

I simply can’t imagine owning a champion, not needing or caring about money, and rushing to retire them prematurely.  And I don’t want to hear that there’s nothing else to prove.  There’s always more to prove – especially in a 9-race career that essentially lasted 6 months.  What about simply cementing a legend?  There’s coming back at 4 and dominating again.  There’s the Breeders’ Cup in the US.  There’s dirt in the US.  Say the horse were to come back next year and win 5 or 6 major races in Europe again, win the Arc for a second year in a row, and come over to the US and win the Breeders’ Cup Classic on dirt by 5 lengths…well then you’d truly have a legend.  You’d have a horse that ranks alongside Secretariat (justifiably) as one of the top 2 or 3 horses in racing history.  What about simply winning the Arc in back to back years and then becoming the only Arc winner to win the BC Turf (or any Breeders’ Cup race)?  There are any number of things that could be accomplished to further his greatness and historical ranking.

Disappointing.  But at least if history is a guide, at least we’ll have another greatest horse ever coming out of Europe to admire within a year or two.

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Posted in Breeders' Cup, General Racing Discussion.

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2 Responses

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  1. Misty Mays says

    Many of these riders/breeders win one and get comfortable its the desire to keep winning that makes u go out and keep racing.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Just How Fast Was Sea The Stars? | Farewell To Kings linked to this post on October 14, 2009

    […] written quite a bit about Sea The Stars recently, so hopefully you can tolerate one last post on…Sea The Stars!   I didn’t […]