By Jack Werk
How about that Rachel Alexandra? I try not to go “over the top” in praise of a horse, but this very special 3-year-old filly by Medaglia d’Oro, in my book, became the greatest filly I’ve seen in my lifetime – and that includes Ruffian! It takes a special filly to win the Preakness or any of the classics against 3-year-old colts, but to defeat the best older horses in training in a G1 race on dirt at Saratoga, well, that’s in another dimension altogether! She’s a great filly and one for the ages. And by the way, no other 3-year-old filly has done what she did yesterday since races were Graded in the early 1970s.
As it turns out, my opinion of her was understated in my blog of April 7: “Since then, Medaglia d’Oro has been on a tear! He is now the sire of 6 SWs through April 5 (obviously all of them are from his first crop, now 3), and HIS daughter Rachel Alexandra (out of Lotta Kim, by Roar) may now be the best 3-year-old filly in the country! On Sunday, she won – I should use the cliché decimated! – the G2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park by 8¾ lengths leading all the way.”
She’s not the best 3-year-old filly in the country. She’s actually the best horse in the country, period!
Usually, you only get a chance to see a “great” race and a “great” horse once in a while, but that wasn’t the case Saturday because we had a chance to see two great races with two great horses. In Ireland, there’s a colt that rivals everything Rachel Alexandra has done here, and he’s Sea the Stars.
He ran another unbelievable race yesterday to win the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown for his 5th consecutive G1 this year, and there isn’t another 3-year-old or older horse that can race with him in Europe. This colt is beautifully bred, too. He’s by Cape Cross, a son of Green Desert (by Danzig), and he’s out of Arc winner Urban Sea, who’s the dam of 4 G1 winners, including Coolmore’s sire sensation Galileo!
Sheikh Mohammed already owns Sea the Stars’ sire, Cape Cross, and he’s paid $15 million to the Irish National Stud for 25 percent of Invincible Spirit, another son of Green Desert. That puts a value on Invincible Spirit at $60 million. Now, Sea the Stars, with his pedigree and race record, has to be worth more than Invincible Spirit on paper, but there aren’t many in the business who can pay that kind of money besides Sheikh Mohammed and Coolmore.
Coolmore was the co-breeder of Galileo with the Tsui family, which has a longstanding relationship with John Clarke at the Irish National Stud. The Irish National Stud is where Invincible Spirit stands, and it already has a partnership with Sheikh Mohammed! So, there are two huge questions facing Sea the Stars future stud career: Who’ll be his owner(s) and where will he stand? It’ll be extremely interesting to follow the developments on this one!
Click here to read a post I wrote on May 6th about the mating that produced Sea the Stars.