It’s somewhat surprising that Crystal Ocean wasn’t supplemented to Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp given he would have undoubtedly been among the top four or five choices in the betting. He’ll go in the Champion Stakes at Ascot later in the month instead. And if all goes well there, it’s possible he’ll show up in the Breeders’ Cup Turf where, depending on what other Euros come over, he might go favored.
It’s been a strong 2018 for Crystal Ocean, with his only losses in five starts coming to Poet’s Word and Arc favorite Enable. Perhaps it was the loss to Enable in the September Stakes over the synthetic surface last month that led to Sir Michael Stoute deciding Crystal Ocean had had enough of Enable for now. I say “for now”, because there is a chance Enable may also come over for the Breeders’ Cup. But regardless of which Euros end up at Churchill Downs, you have to give them the edge over the Americans.
Last year, Godolphin and Andre Fabre skipped the Arc with Talismanic and came straight to America to capture the BC Turf. That’s noteworthy because Talismanic had held his own in Europe all year and figured a logical choice in the 2017 Arc. Of course, those connections also had Cloth of Stars, who ended up 2nd in the Arc. And Crystal Ocean is racing between now and BC Day, unlike Talismanic. So maybe there is no comparison. Regardless, if Crystal Ocean were to win the BC Turf, it would be the second time in two BCs that a top Euro skipped Europe’s biggest race and won the BC Turf.