Breeders' Cup International Scouting Report: Sealiway

December 31st, 2020

After romping in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf “Win and You’re In” Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) on Arc Day, Sealiway warrants respect. Yet that was far and away a career-best for the Frederic Rossi pupil, and circumstances imply it might not translate so readily here.

Sealiway is by Galiway, a lightly raced but well-bred Galileo half-brother to Silent Name who is off to a fast start at stud. Sealiway’s dam, the Kendargent mare Kensea, scored her stakes win as a juvenile in the 2012 Prix Herod.

The £62,000 Arqana August yearling purchase was ready to go in May, in a newcomers’ race at Saint-Cloud, right after the Covid lockdown was lifted. Patiently handled while settled well off the pace, Sealiway responded under an energetic hand ride to win handily by two lengths.

That made him the 1-2 favorite in his ensuing conditions race at Chantilly. Sealiway had to work harder to get up, but he was conceding seven pounds to the near-misser who subsequently won twice.

Favored again at 7-5 when rising in class for the Prix Roland de Chambure, Sealiway bided his time last of the quintet and steadily improved into third. But he never looked like getting to the top two, King’s Harlequin (the future Prix d’Aumale [G3] winner) and Go Athletico.

Sealiway turned the page next time at Vichy as the 6-4 favorite in the Prix Jouvenceaux et Jouvencelles. It was not just the change of venue or the softer spot, but a change of tactics that made a substantial difference. Sitting close to the pacesetter, he pounced into the stretch and drew off by five.

Back to Longchamp for the la Rochette (G3), Sealiway tried Go Athletico, who got the better of him again. New rider Mickael Barzalona gave him a similar forward trip, stalking Godolphin’s 3-5 front runner Naval Crown. But as he realized only in hindsight, Sealiway was traveling so easily that Barzalona thought he could move at his leisure, only to have Go Athletico move first and outsprint him to the wire.

Barzalona was sure to give Sealiway his cue earlier in the Lagardere. Ironically, it probably wouldn’t have mattered that time, since he was the only one traveling on the heavy going. His four rivals were already laboring under pressure, and the stretch became a blow-out. The record will show that Sealiway won by eight lengths from odds-on favorite Nando Parrado (who had been runner-up to Campanelle in the Morny [G1]).

It’s difficult to take the Lagardere result at face value, with the conditions the likeliest explanation for the margin. And if you remember who was missing – Go Athletico (ineligible as a gelding) and St Mark’s Basilica (thanks to Ballydoyle’s contaminated feed) – the Arc Day feature wasn’t the deepest.

Sealiway held an entry in the Oct. 24 Criterium International (G1), but connections opted to use his Breeders’ Cup ticket instead. Capable on good-to-soft, he’d move up in a bog, if he can wind up his momentum around two turns on a tighter track.