LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Breeders' Cup is something like New Year's Eve. The next morning, some wake up eager to face the next year, and some wake up not feeling too well.
If for no other reason than a freakish colt named Arazi, racing is already looking forward to a season that could be unlike any before. Co-owner Allen Paulson said yesterday that the colt will return to France with trainer Francois Boutin and would be pointed toward the Kentucky Derby next May at Churchill Downs, where he trounced 13 rivals in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Saturday.
"We plan on bringing him here," said Paulson. "I don't want to scare anyone off. We'll probably run him in a race or two over there [next year] before we bring him back here. Pat [Valenzuela] is going to ride him whenever he's over here."
A star European as heavy Derby favorite is a situation that never has happened, so intrigue and interest in the 1992 Triple Crown campaign could be exceptionally high if Arazi remains healthy.
For 1991, Arazi's 4 3/4 -length victory produces a dilemma concerning the Eclipse Awards. Can a 2-year-old with a 6-for-7 record in France -- but only one start in the United States, albeit an electrifying win -- be named North America's Horse of the Year? And should the one race even earn him an Eclipse as top 2-year-old?
After Black Tie Affair captured the Classic, winning trainer Ernie Poulus insisted his horse was more accomplished and deserved the Horse of the Year title. Poulus left Louisville for his Chicago base early yesterday.
Black Tie Affair, owned by Jeffrey Sullivan of Chicago, will not race again. He retires amid a six-race win streak to begin a stud career next spring at Vinery Stud in Midway, Ky.
All was right with the world yesterday for Arazi, Black Tie Affair and the other five winners on the $10 million program, but many of the losers had a Breeders' Cup hangover.
Fortunately for Housebuster, whose ninth-place finish in the Sprint gave a bitter ending to an otherwise sensational career, injuries to both front legs should not compromise an impending stud career at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky.
"The way he is right now, I see no reason why he can't" leave Churchill today, said trainer Jimmy Croll. Housebuster, who is likely to be named champion sprinter for the second straight year despite the defeat, has a torn right hoof and a strained left suspensory ligament.
For Bruce Jackson, the decision to run In Excess in the Mile on turf failed miserably, although Jackson said before and after In Excess' ninth-place finish that he was in a virtual no-win situation. Jackson said In Excess did not handle the Churchill dirt to his satisfaction, nor did he think In Excess wanted to race as far as the 1 1/4 -mile Classic distance. Jackson did not attend a press breakfast at the track yesterday morning.
NOTES: Paulson said previous reports of his selling half-interest in Arazi to Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum for $5 million are erroneous. The sale price was "a lot more," he said. . . . The best Derby performer among the 7 previous Juvenile winners: Chief's Crown, third in the 1985 Derby. . . . Unbridled and Summer Squall, third and ninth in the Classic, respectively, are finished racing and will begin stud careers in Kentucky. Unbridled goes to Gainesway Farm and Summer Squall to Lane's End. . . . Churchill officials reported Filago, who suffered a torn ligament in his right foreleg in the Turf, to be resting comfortably yesterday morning. . . . Queena, fifth in the Distaff, will be retired and bred to Danzig. . . . Miss Alleged, upset winner of the Turf, may run in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Sunday in a bid to win the Eclipse for top filly-mare turf runner.
PLans for the 1991 Breeders' Cup winners:
Race.. .. .. .. ..Winner
Classic.. .. Black Tie Affair
Retires to stud in Kentucky
Distaff.. .. .. Dance Smartly
Back to Canada, races next in '92
Juvenile.. .. .. .. ... Arazi
Back to France, will aim for Ky. Derby
Juv. Fillies.. Pleasant Stage
Back to Calif., races next in '92
Mile.. .. .. ..Opening Verse
Retires to stud in Maryland
Sprint.. .. . Sheikh Albadou
Back to England, races next in '92
Turf.. .. .. .. Miss Alleged
Stays in Ky., may run next Sunday