Thursday, August 1, 2013

After the Auction: Stars Over The Sea

As an avid fan of sales with possible aspirations to become an adviser/bloodstock agent, auctions are one of my favorite topics to write about on Past the Grandstand. “After the Auctions” feature horses I selected in sales that have found success after the sale. *Note: If an “After the Auction” features a two-year-old, it will also be listed as a “Juvenile Spotlight.”

In 2009, Sea the Stars took the world by storm, going undefeated as he captured all six of his starts that year – all of which were group ones. With victories in some of Europe’s most prestigious races – the 2000 Guineas (GI), Epsom Derby (GI), Eclipse Stakes (GI), International Stakes (GI), Irish Champion Stakes (GI), and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (GI) – and just one loss on his race record, Sea the Stars’ short but brilliant career left him heralded as one of the greatest racehorses of all-time.

Sea the Stars entered stud in 2010 at Gilltown Stud in Ireland, with his first crop reaching the races this year. On July 22 at Ayr Racecourse in Scotland, Stars Over The Sea became his first winner. Last fall, this colt was among my selections for the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, selling for $55,000 in the fourth session of the renowned auction.

Following a solid fourth-place effort in his career debut at Leicester Racecourse, Stars Over The Sea reared at the start of his second start at Haydock, which erased any chance he had when he was left a dozen lengths behind, thus leaving him to finish sixth of seven.

But the colt proved himself in his third start, facing just two other horses in a seven-furlong maiden on good to firm going at Ayr. After tracking the leader, Stars Over The Sea edged clear with a quarter-mile left to run, maintaining his advantage on the pair behind him as he coasted to a 3-length victory.

Pedigree Musings

Just having Sea the Stars as the sire indicates that Stars Over The Sea is the member of a royal family. But his sire is not the only strong suit in this young colt’s pedigree.

Sea the Stars is a son of the group one-winning Cape Cross, who has produced several notable horses, such as the champions Ouija Board and Seachange. This is the Danzig sire line, which has produced several horses that excelled as both runners and sires, including Anabaa, Chief’s Crown, Danehill, Danewin, Desert King, Exceed and Excel, Fastnet Rock, Flying Spur, Langfuhr, Polish Navy, Redoute’s Choice, War Chant, and War Front.

Perhaps the best asset of Sea the Stars’ ancestry is his dam, the great Urban Sea. Highweight older mare in France, Urban Sea was a group one winner as a racehorse, capturing one of the world’s most prestigious races: the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe (GI). She is one of the most remarkable broodmares the world has seen, producing the likes of not only Sea the Stars, but also champion racehorse and sire Galileo, champion Urban Ocean, multiple group one winner Black Sam Bellamy, grade one-winning millionaire My Typhoon, group stakes winner All Too Beautiful, stakes winner and group one-placed Born to Sea, stakes winner Melikah, and group stakes-placed Cherry Hinton. 2001 Broodmare of the Year in both England and Ireland, Urban Sea has been denoted as a Reine De Course mare.

Urban Sea is sired by Miswaki, a recurrently terrific broodmare sire who has produced the dams of the grade/group one winners Dalakhani, Daylami, Landseer, and The Factor. Like herself, Urban Sea’s dam, Allegretta, is a Reine De Course mare, having also foaled the group one-winning King’s Best, the group stakes-winning Allez Les Trois, and the stakes-placed Turbaine. Her siblings, too, have proven to be top producers, as her sisters have produced two group one winners and her classic-winning brother, King’s Best, has sired numerous top-class racehorses, including the group one winners Dubai Surprise, Eishin Flash, Proclamation, Royal Diamond, Sajjhaa, and Workforce. Urban Sea hails from a strong female line, tracing back to the likes of the German Derby winner Asterbl├╝te – a daughter of the Reine De Course mare and tremendous racehorse Aster. This makes Urban Sea a direct descendant of four additional Reine De Course mares.

Stars Over The Sea clearly inherits much strength from the top side of his pedigree, but his dam’s side is rather impressive as well. His dam, Exciting Times, has produced the grade one-winning Gorella, the stakes-winning, group one-placed Porto Santo, and the stakes-placed Thanks Again. Stars Over The Sea’s fourth dam, Crepellana, was a group one-winning champion who produced a pair of group one-placed runners. Through this tail female line, Stars Over The Sea is a direct descendant of numerous Reine De Course mares, including Fairy Gold, the dam of the Hall of Fame racehorse and sire Fair Play, Belmont Stakes winner Friar Rock, Ascot Gold Vase victor Golden Measure, and numerous other spectacular stakes winners and producers.

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