In the days following Vodka’s thrilling victory in the Japan Cup (G1), English media sources have indicated that trainer Katsuhiko Sumii will send his daughter of Tanino Gimlet to contest the $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup (G1) over the synthetic Tapeta at Meydan, a final race on the ledger of a magnificent career. No shortage of reports filed by sources on three continents reported the same.
Vodka has been to Dubai twice, competing in the 2008 and 2009 Dubai Duty Free (G1) and finishing fourth and seventh, respectively. She has accumulated a handsome sum of more than US$14,000,000, making her the world’s winningest mare based on lifetime earnings. Does it not seem odd that a mare who has landed 10 wins from 25 starts, not a single one of them over a non-grass course, would make her final lifetime start on Meydan’s new Tapeta course? Bill Murray’s performance in the feature film “Lost In Translation” was an amusing one, and I think he might agree that Sumii’s statements regarding Vodka could have been taken out of context, or simply lacking a complete explanation, concerning the final pre-retirement start for a legend of the Japanese turf.
Until there is additional clarification, my expectation is that before we offer a final “sayonara” to a gem of the turf, we will see Vodka at Meydan on 27 March 2010 – racing in the Dubai Duty Free.