07/13/2009 11:00PM

Sea the Stars heading to York


As expected, Sea the Stars has been ruled out of the 1 1/2-mile King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 25. Worried about the short time between his victory in the 1 1/4-mile Eclipse Stakes on July 4 and the King George, trainer John Oxx announced on Tuesday that he will instead point his 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby winner to the 1 1/4-mile, 88-yard Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Aug. 18.

Sea the Stars will have a brief freshening before beginning preparations for the Juddmonte. Oxx then plans to run his Cape Cross 3-year-old in the 1 1/4-mile Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Sept. 5. The Irish conditioner has stated that Sea the Stars will have only three more races this year. The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Oct. 4 would be the obvious third race, but Oxx has cautioned that good or good to firm ground is of prime importance to Sea the Stars's program. An option to the 1 1/2-mile Arc, for which the ground is not infrequently good to soft or worse, could be the 1 1/4-mile Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 17.

- Alan Shuback