The Daily Racing Blog recently talked about the upcoming Breeders Cup Championship and all that it entails. The culmination of those two days of international competition is the last race on Saturday night, which is the Breeders Cup Classic. This race is for three year-olds and up, run at a mile & 1/4 on the dirt with prize money totaling six million dollars- the largest purse of the day.
But waaaaay back in 1995 the purse for the Breeders Cup Classic was only a paltry 3 million dollars. The BC races that year were held at Belmont Park, and the Daily Racing Blog was fortunate enough to be on hand at the track that dreary, rain soaked day. And in the BC Classic that Saturday, October 28, we were in the presence of greatness.
Looking at the program provided that day, going back ten races looking at CIGAR, you will see nothing but first place finishes. That Saturday 23 years ago would prove no different. CIGAR ridden by Hall Of Fame jockey Jerry Baily, and trained by Hall Of Famer Bill Mott, took the lead at the far turn and never looked back. Some have said it was a weak field of horses that day, but consider this; CIGAR won 16 consecutive Graded Stakes Races, the first horse to do so since CITATION in 1950.
When CIGAR retired in 1996 he was the richest thoroughbred in United States history at the time with career earnings at close to 10 million dollars. He was surpassed in that category in 2016 by the equally great CURLIN with $10.5 million.
Here’s hoping for more historic moments at this years Breeders Cup. Keep checking in with DRB as we will provide analysis of the BC races once the fields are announced.