I must get this off my chest. I have read numerous articles and posts describing what I deem to be complete nonsense concerning Mendelssohn's last few races and subsequent retirement. The big theme of the weekend was "mismanagement". Well, maybe, but not at all for the reasons they are spewing.
The fantastic performance by Mendelssohn in the UAE Derby actually destroyed that horse and not because of the run but because of his connections who took that race as something that it wasn't and relentlessly tried to duplicate it. And not only did they try over and over again but they also tried to do it at different distances. Had this horse not won that race I truly believe that his career over the last several months would have been completely different.
Mendelssohn is a 10.5f stamina horse. Stamina horses who win on turf and synthetic do NOT run on the lead on dirt. He was not bred to be a speed horse but because he did the unthinkable by grabbing that lead on that crazy speed biased track in Dubai, and because he was the one out of all the entries that day to capitalize on it, his connections only saw the performance and not the REASON for the performance. They tried over and over and over to turn this stamina guy into some type of morphed marathon sprinter out on the lead because of that win in every race thereafter. That win actually turned into Mendelssohn's demise. The fact that they tried distances under his optimum and out of his true comfort zone over and over with the same results crippled this talented horse's confidence and his spirit. It ruined him.
When I read articles and comments about how over-hyped this horse was and how much of a fluke his UAE derby win was, it turns my stomach. If one were to look at his breeding coupled with his 2 year old victories and then fast forward to how he was FORCED to run AFTER the UAE Derby, one would be able to clearly see a talented promising 2 year old with the ability to run his race in his own way, at his own pace, and at his own inherited characteristics. Unfortunately Mendelssohn sealed his downward spiral by winning that race in Dubai by being expected to replicate it over and over again on top of having to do it after flying thousands of miles first. Mismanaged, yes. Why? Because he won in Dubai on a speed favoring track and that is all his connections could see.
And now, they retire him to the very country that they continuously flew back and forth to while armchair pundits discuss how Mendelssohn was over-hyped and not at all talented to begin with. Bullshit. This horse was a promising star and the only thing he did wrong was grab that lead first in Dubai. That win sealed his fate. He was morphed into that speed demon on the lead while his inheritance was at complete odds with that. Being the great horse that he was, he beat all of those speedsters to the lead that day and the bias allowed him to sustain what LITTLE speed he actually inherited. He could never duplicate those unrealistic circumstances again but his connections didnt see it that way. And now he is retired with no wins posted after that ill-fated spectacular performance.
I am glad now that he is retired and he can be himself and not what his trainers tried to turn him into. The stamina horse who was pushed to be a marathon sprinter can now be left in peace.
Happy retirement Mendelssohn. You deserve it.