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Friday, October 12, 2007

Frailty Thy Name is Shakespeare...and Fabulous Strike..and...

This is getting ridiculous! With trainers, owners and, most importantly, breeders focusing almost exclusively on the Breeders’ Cup—not just the actual races, but plotting a strategy to get there with the minimum number of races, thus depriving racing fans of enough quality races to justify the very existence of graded stakes—word today of yet another retirement: turf star Shakespeare, who has retired with tendon injury.

Don’t get me wrong; I completely understand that injuries and illness happen, and there is precious little that can be done about it. However, it all feels like such a letdown because of the constant buildup to the Breeders’ Cup, if it is the end-all, be-all event.

So, with exactly two weeks before the first BC races are run at Monmouth, I’m disappointed that some of my favorite horses won’t be there, namely:

Fabulous Strike (Sprint)—lung infection
River’s Prayer (F&M Sprint)—career-ending fractured sesamoid
Ready’s Image and The Roundhouse (Juvenile)—bone chip in knee and sore shins, respectively; both out for the year
Asi Siempre (Distaff)—retired
Rags to Riches (Distaff)—injured, out for year
Student Council (Classic)—debating whether to run in Japan Cup instead
Political Force (Classic)—retired to Claiborne
Lava Man (Mile)—can’t run outside of Cali, apparently
Teuflesberg (Mile)—career-ending fractured sesamoids

Oh, don’t worry, I’ll be glued to my television set the entire day, and plenty of my other favorites will still make a go of it, like Miss Macy Sue and Baroness Thatcher (F&M Sprint), Izarra and Cry and Catch Me (Filly Juvenile), Tough Tiz’s Sis and Octave (Distaff), and Tiago (Classic).

But, alas, parting is such sweet sorrow for others.

[UPDATE: Count Vacare and Rutherienne out of the BC too! Vacare will point towards the G1 Matriarch at Hollywood, while Rutherienne has a splint left hind and is out for the year]


race said...

Valerie--I agree. The days when a Horse was a Horse are evidently over. John Henry raced 19 times in 1978!!! starting in January of that year. Of course we don't even count that he also raced in December of 1977, no time off for a real race Horse. Those were the days when you bought a win ticket not to cash, but to hold for a Champion.--race

dana said...

Rosinka is out with ankle chip too... in addition to everyone you mention I was looking forward to seeing her as well.

She was my upset pick for the Flower Bowl... who knew the upset would have an upset.

Teresa said...

Had Rosinka in the race at Saratoga on closing day and have paid close attention since...very disappointed that she's another one who's out. Really liked this gutsy filly.