PARIS - Sea the Stars electrified Longchamp Racecourse on Sunday with his two-length victory in the $5.8 million Prix d l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, and now the question is: Will he come to the United States and run in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita?
Since Sea the Stars won the Juddmonte International in August, trainer John Oxx has been mentioning the Breeders' Cup Classic as a season-ending possibility for the 3-year-old son of Cape Cross and 1993 Arc winner Urban Sea. Christopher Tsui, whose family bred and owns the horse, did not quash those hopes after the race Sunday.
"We'll see," he said. "We'll have a long talk about that with the trainer, as well as about whether he will run again next year."
British bookmaker Coral has installed Sea the Stars as its 4-5 favorite for the Classic, precisely the price he returned in the Arc.
Santa Anita president Ron Charles said on Sunday that Santa Anita will lobby strongly for Sea the Stars to be sent to California.
Charles is hoping that the presence of the star European 3-year-old will enhance interest in the Breeders' Cup from an international standpoint.
"We're going to do everything we can to try and attract him," Charles said. "We need a marquee horse and Sea the Stars is that horse worldwide."
Sea the Stars has won all six of his races this year, all Group 1's.
Sea the Stars was given the most patient of rides by Michael Kinane in the 1 1/2-mile Arc. Content to sit in seventh place along the rail up the six-furlong backstretch, Sea the Stars was still no closer behind the runaway Coolmore pacesetters Grand Ducal and Set Sail a half-mile from home. Stacelita was doing the real doggie work in third, and when the rabbits weakened at the head of the stretch, she grabbed a brief lead.
That's when Kinane eased Sea the Stars off the rail. Traveling smoothly in traffic, Sea the Stars produced his irresistible acceleration, leading at the furlong pole and going quickly clear. Hand ridden to the line, Sea the Stars ran out a two-length winner over Youmzain, who finished second for the third year in a row. Godolphin's two-time Group 1 course and distance winner Cavalryman was along for third, a head behind Youmzain, with defending Breeders' Cup Turf titleholder Conduit another head behind in fourth in his first race in 10 weeks.
The winning time for the 1 1/2 miles on good ground was a fast 2:26.30.
- additional reporting by Steve Andersen