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2009 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

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Sea the Stars wins the 2009 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Sea the Stars wins the 2009 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Sea the Stars wins the 2009 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris.

© Michael Steele/Getty Images
October 4, 2009

Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe(G1) with a purse of €4 million ($5.85 million US) is the world's richest turf race and the unofficial middle-distance championship for European racing at a distance of 2400 meters (1 1/2 miles) on the "Grande Piste" turf course at Longchamp Racecourse, which was rated "good" due to no rain all week. Ideal conditions with cloudy skies and temperatures in the 60's brought out a crowd of 48,700 for the races. A field of 19 went to post with superstar colt Sea the Stars sent off as the 4-5 favorite, with 7 straight wins including the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, Eclipse, International, and Irish Champion. Some of his top challengers included the three-horse Coolmore entry of Fame and Glory, Grand Ducal, and Set Sail at 8-1, and French Oaks winner Stacelita the 10-1 third choice.

When the gate opened, jockey Pat Smullen sent Grand Ducal to the front for the first quarter before stablemate Set Sail and jockey Sean Levey passed him and opened up 2 length lead for the sweeping right turn of the Grande Piste, with another 5 lengths back to the rest of the tightly bunched field. Jockey Michael Kinane kept Sea the Stars down on the rail for the ground-saving trip back in 9th in very heavy traffic the whole way. At the top of the lane, Stacelita came out of the pack to pass the tiring pacesetters to take the lead briefly. Sea the Stars looked boxed in, but once he found room at the 1/4 pole he switched gears and accelerated, opening a clear lead at the 1/8 pole. 21-1 Youmzain and jockey Kieren Fallon, back in 11th early, broke free from the pack to make a run at Sea the Stars but to no avail, as Sea the Stars held him off by 2 lengths at the line, completing the trip in 2:26.30 seconds. It was another head back to 17-1 Cavalryman and jockey Frankie Dettori third.

Results chart from Sporting Life

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