I took a few days off blogging after this weekend—too many topsy-turvy results for my taste, and just felt a bit shell-shocked by it all. Among my disappointments: Tiago in the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup. Seriously, if he needs a fast early pace in order to run on late, isn’t it time the Mosses invest in a "rabbit"? Toting 8 lbs less, Mast Track set dawdling early fractions on the lead, then closed in a new track record time. With the regrettable (and unnecessary) early retirement of Heatseeker (who was just hitting his stride at age 5), Tiago should be the top class California horse—but apparently only if he gets a certain pace set up. Just like Better Talk Now had his Shake the Bank, Tiago needs a pacesetter…or send him back East to run on dirt.
Something else on my mind—when will there be too many American thoroughbreds at stud? Seriously, how many stallions should be breeding each year? Among those retired just last year, in time for the 2008 breeding season: English Channel, Hard Spun, Street Sense, Any Given Saturday, Scat Daddy, After Market, Bob and John, Corinthian, Discreet Cat, Ecclesiastic, Friendly Island, High Cotton, Invasor, Jazil, Lawyer Ron, Silver Wagon, Stormello, Teuflesberg, and Student Council. Actually, there were 230 new stallions this year, according to Bloodhorse, including such minimally-performing horses as Achilles of Troy (who stands for $1,500 in NY) and Alydar’s Causeway ($1,000 in WV). That's on top of the already-numerous stallions who have been at it for years.
So far this year the prominent retirements include: Daaher, Spring at Last, Nobiz Like Shobiz, Heatseeker, Horse Greeley and The Green Monkey (I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting). If folks like William de Burgh who owns Heatseeker think they must retire their horses because they are going to get rich, isn’t it time for the market to prove them wrong? Don’t they see that they are ruining the sport? This past weekend’s G1 joke-of-a-race, the formerly-revered Suburban Handicap, is a prime example. The sickening irony is, Frost Giant will be retired one day very soon, with headlines declaring “Grade 1 winner,” as if that means something anymore.
Sorry, I’m in a very pessimistic mood right now about the sport I love.