So, Whaddya Think About So You Think??

September 09, 2011 05:31am
After Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes, I’m fairly certain that many of us have run out of ways to describe So You Think. To borrow a line I heard in a commercial, “…all I can say is ‘wow’…”


It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve watched So You Think race, he still continues to amaze me. That was the case once again in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I), run this past Saturday at Leopardstown.


A field of six went to the post in the Irish Champion, and there really wasn’t a slouch in the line up. In addition to So You Think, trainer Aidan O’Brien sent out two others runners, both of whom were group I winners themselves. Roderic O’Connor, ridden by Joseph O’Brien, was a 2011 classic winner, having captured the Irish 2000 Guineas (Ire-I) in May. Recital was a group I winner as a juvenile, and had won the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (Ire-II) earlier this season.


Champion Snow Fairy, the dual Oaks winning filly of 2010, posed the biggest threat to So You Think. The daughter of Intikhab had defeated males before, in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) late last year.


Juddmonte Farm was represented by the hard-knocking Famous Name, a son of Dansili who was a multiple stakes winner at the group 3 level. The 6-year-old, who was a nine-time winner over the Leopardstown course, was still seeking to notch his first group I victory, after coming oh-so-close on so many occasions.


The one true outsider in this field was the 3-year-old colt Dunboyne Express, a winner at the group 3 level, but unsuccessful (so far) at higher levels.


Well, the race went pretty much as one expected, with So You Think holding off an ultra-tough Snow Fairy to win the race by a half-length.


So, the question is now, where does So You Think race next? It was indicated by John Magnier after the race that a trip to Australia had been ruled out. Even though a ‘three-peat’ in the Cox Plate (Aus-I) would be incredible, it must be felt by the Ballydoyle powers-that-be that (somewhat obviously) the horse is already a proven commodity Down Under, so why go that route again?


Of course, there are now several possible paths that So You Think might take. The hot rumor right now is that he’ll be shorten up to a mile and will take on the fabulous Frankel (I think ‘fabulous’ is part of the colt’s name now) in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) on Oct. 15. He could also go in the 10-furlong Champion Stakes (Eng-I) on that same day. It has also been indicated that So You Think could line up in the 12-furlong Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) on Oct. 2.


Now, I’ve never held a trainer’s license, but I love to play ‘armchair trainer’ as much as the next gal. So, here’s what *I* think Aidan O’Brien will do (here’s my disclaimer stating that Ballydoyle does NOT have my phone number on speed dial, nor am I any sort of paid consultant for Coolmore or the Ballydoyle team…but how I wish I were!). I think Coolmore’s Arc runner (or runners) will be Cape Blanco and/or Treasure Beach…NOT So You Think. Both of those colts are proven at 12 furlongs, and it would set either one up for a return trip to the States. I see both Cape Blanco and Treasure Beach running in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT); if either one wins, they’re champion turf horse in North America. Coolmore would love to stand a son of Galileo in Kentucky, and they would have a great stud prospect in either colt. (the bloodstock industry would jump at the chance to breed to a son of Galileo, I think)


I believe So You Think will run in the Champion, which will set him up perfectly for his Breeders’ Cup race…in the Classic. Yep, call me crazy, but I honestly believe that So You Think, even though he has never started on dirt, would run circles around our best runners here. That includes Stay Thirsty, Tizway, Havre de Grace, etc. I don’t think Coolmore made him eligible for the Breeders’ Cup “just” to run in the Turf. Keep in mind that their intended runner, Await The Dawn, came out of the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) with an undisclosed malady. Whether he’ll be ready in time for the race is up in the air.

So, there you have it. Call me crazy, call me irresponsible, or call me a cab...not only do I think that So You Think runs in the Breeders' Cup Classic....but he WINS it.


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Older Comments about So, Whaddya Think About So You Think??...

@mary.schweitzer, That's correct!! It was on England's Racing Post web-site this morning that Aidan O'Brien intends to send Cape Blanco back to America to run in the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont on Oct. 2nd. The Joe Hirsch being 1-1/2 race should put Cape Blanco spot on for this year's Breeders Cup Turf. Likely Clement will send Winchester out after Cape Blanco instead of Gio Ponti this time. The race being 1-1/2 instead of 1-1/4.
@medlocke- thanks. I knew she was running in the St Leger, but didn't knnow if they would try the Arc or not. Would that free Frankie up to ride Snow Fairy if she goes?
It was reported this morning that Cape Blanco will be (more than likely) coming over for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont on Oct. 2. They are looking at the QEII Challenge at Keeneland for the filly Together. So, probably So You Think and/or Treasure Beach for the Arc.
@footlick, No, Godolphin are going to race Blue Bunting next in the G1 St.Leger at Doncaster over 1-3/4, and then I'd imagine they'll very seriously consider the B.C. F&M Turf for her in November. But her trainer, Mahmood Al Zarooni, has already said that Blue Bunting is definitely running next in the St.Leger.
@medlocke- are they pointing Blue Bunting to the Arc?
  • mary.schweitzer · I think Godolphin will see how Blue Bunting does in the St. Leger this week, and then plan from there. I wouldn't be surprised to see her in the Arc line up. She's a tough, classy filly. · 2907 days ago
What I like about him is that he is a very pacey individual, and his neck is just massive. An amazing specimen of a thoroughbred. Very impressive. Also Snow Fairy is rounding back into form and they may take a shot at the Arc. Frankie is riding shotgun with these fillies lately. Really getting runs out of them. Also impressed with Danedream in Germany. Looks like it is shaping up to be quite an exciting Arc.
i think his one of the greatest horse as of right now
I don't think you're crazy or irresponsible at all making that comment!! First and foremost, Aidan O'Brien has been after a win in the Breeders Cup Classic for a long time!! He's sent Giant's Causeway to the Classic in 2000, Henrythenavigator in 2008, and Rip Van Winkle in 2009. Although Giant's Causeway and Henrythenavigator came close, they didn't get it done. So You Think is a very special horse. Although he's raced on only turf throughout his career, he's a really strong galloper over 1-1/4, and even on conventional dirt, once he hit the front in the Classic, I think it would awfully difficult for any of the American horses to run him down!! Coolmore is looking for maximum stud value out of So You Think, and the races most likely to increase that value for him is the Arc and then either the Breeders Cup Turf or Classic? Should he win one or both of them? He's yet to be tried beyond 10f in Europe. But I watched the replay of the Melbourne Cup, and Americain and Maluckyday didn't overtake So You Think out on the lead in that race until they were hitting the 100 meter mark of a 2 mile race. So there's no reason at all to believe that So You Think can't get 1-1/2 at Longchamp in the Arc, and at Churchill Downs in the Breeders Cup Turf. Should O'Brien elect for that race instead? But I'm hoping that Coolmore call an audible and send So You Think to the B.C. Classic. Like did with Giant's Causeway at Churchill Downs, circa 2000!! TJMO.

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