Before we get so serious…and we will get very serious this week…let’s have some fun and take a look back at some great Breeder’s Cup moments. I always admit that my pre-2007 horse racing knowledge is lacking so if you are looking for memories past that date I don’t have any to share. However, from 2007 to the present I have plenty of great memories. Here are my top 5:
1. 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic: American Pharoah Completes the Grand Slam
Even though I personally hated the term “Grand Slam” it didn’t take away from how amazing this moment was for all of us that loved American Pharoah. The Triple Crown was like folklore to the young racing fan, and American Pharoah took the Triple Crown to another level after winning this race. Plus, it was a redemption story as well as Pharoah was coming off a loss in the Travers Stakes. This moment was very special.
2. 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic: Zenyatta from Last to First
I remember sitting in the Bally’s Sports Book in Las Vegas with $20 to win on Zenyatta while being so nervous I couldn’t sit still. Not because of the $20, but because I was so worried that Zenyatta’s winning streak could come to an end. Usually a sports book is a very divided place, but on that day when she hit the wire first everyone cheered in unison because we all knew we had seen something special. Simply un-be-lievable!
3. 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic: Curlin splashes home in the slop
Curlin started it all for me, and when he dominated the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Monmouth I was completely and totally hooked on racing for the long haul. He sealed the deal for Horse of the Year with that win, and also left no doubt that he was one of the all time greats. I can remember being very nervous about the condition of the race track…but there was nothing to worry about.
4. 2012 Breeders’ Cup Mile: Wise Dan sets track record in amazing win
This was just something completely special! Wise Dan looked better in the post parade than any horse I’ve ever seen in person…and I’ve still never seen a better looking horse to this day. He absolutely dominated an outstanding field, and set a track record. The win locked up Horse of the Year honors for this outstanding race horse.
5. 2011 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile: Caleb’s Posse drops in at the quarter pole
Caleb’s Posse was and still remains one of the Dudes’ all time favorite horses. Trainer Donnie K Von Hemel campaigned him beautifully leading up to that spot, and the little horse that could flew by Shakleford like he was tied to a pole! Trevor Denman’s classic call of “Caleb’s Posse looks like he just dropped in at the quarter pole” is still one of my favorites.