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Player Plea To Owners: "Keep Racing Your Stars"
Meanwhile bloodhorse.com reported major thoroughbred breeder & former champion international golfer Gary Player had “a message for horse owners, especially the connections of Rachel Alexandra & Sea The Stars, the soon-to-be respective champions in the US & Europe (who did not participate in the Breeders’ Cup): Race your horses & don’t dodge competition”. Player (inaugural recipient of the Breeders’ Cup Sports & Racing Excellence Award & owner of the 20,000-acre Gary Player Stud in South Africa) declared: “We need more horses like Rachel Alexandra & Sea The Stars to come & compete. Don’t hide them away. Don’t make excuses about tracks. We need these champions to compete against each other.” Sea The Stars was retired to stud following his victory in last month’s French Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe & Rachel Alexandra’s connections announced she was not running in the Breeders’ Cup because majority owner Jess Jackson avoids artificial surfaces such as the Pro-Ride track at Santa Anita. Referring to his career as a professional golfer (in which he won 9 major championships) Player emphasised: “I never in my life said I’m not going to play against (Jack) Nicklaus or (Arnold) Palmer because the course is too long or is too windy or doesn’t suit me. If you’re a champ you get in there & you play against the whole damn lot & beat them. That is the real sign of a champion.” Player summed up: “Don’t put them to stud too early. We need Sea The Stars out here. We need Rachel Alexandra running against Zenyatta. That stimulates the business. So what if you get beat? You’re going to win & you’re going to lose. And if you’re a competitor, you must be prepared to win & lose.”