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Monday, September 12, 2005


- Shakespeare’s sire Theatrical (Nureyev) is 23 now, but still commanding a $50,000 fee at Hill ‘N’ Dale Farms in Lexington. It’s hard to believe that his 15th crop is racing this year; why, it was 1987, just a few years ago that he moved full time to the U.S. from Europe and won the G1 Turf Classic, Man O' War, Hialeah Turf Cup, Bowling Green, and Sword Dancer, and the G2 Red Smith. And of course, the Breeders Cup Turf at Hollywood Park. The chart doesn’t say, but watch the stretch run on the Breeders Cup Time Capsule page, and you’ll see that he was passed in upper stretch by Arc winner Trempolino but battled back on the inside to cap his championship year in a thrilling finish.

According to Equiline, Theatrical has 71 stakes winners for a quite respectable 8% of foals. Shakespeare was his 4th stakes winner of the year (he had 10 last year); he just missed a 5th when his 7 year old Strut the Stage ran second to Revved Up in the G2 Niagra at Woodbine last weekend.

- You can also watch Theatrical winning the Turf Classic at Belmont that year here. When I clicked on and heard the voice of Marshall Cassidy, who, as NYRA track announcer, tormented me for years, suddenly 1987 seemed like long, long ago.

Cassidy called a race at Saratoga on closing day, at which point I had thankfully left town. I’ll never forget being at Belmont one weekday, and Marshall’s calls were noticeably sober, lacking any of his usual enthusiasm. I thought maybe he was sick. Or perhaps just in a really bad mood. The next morning, I read in the paper that Tom Durkin had been hired to replace Cassidy as track announcer, and I knew that Marshall had been sulking, having lost his dream job, and who could blame him for that?

1 Comment:

SantaBarbarian said...

It's scary when you remember horses racing like it was yesterday.

I remember Theatrical from his days spent out at Oak Tree.