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Top 10 Breeders' Cup Classics - With Video

Breeders Cup Top Ten Classics
The Breeders' Cup Classic is the culmination of a year's excellence in horse racing. Over its history, the Classic has been the scene of some of racing's most dramatic finishes and crowned Horses of the Year. Here are the 10 best editions. 

Honorable Mention: 2004 - Ghostzapper
Legendary trainer Bobby Frankel had only won his first Breeders' Cup race in 2000 after years of near-misses. In 2004, his lightly-raced speedball tore up the track at Lone Star Park, becoming the fastest Classic winner ever and giving Frankel his only Classic win.

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10. 1997 - Skip Away 
The grey had the high-stepping action of a carousel horse, and in the 1997 edition at Hollywood Park, he made the Classic look like a merry-go-round with a near wire-to-wire win, in stakes record time.

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9. 1995 - Cigar
Cigar's Classic was the 12th victory in his incredible 16-win streak, a feat unprecedented at the time. In the dramatic stretch run, Tom Durkin said the words by which Cigar is still known - incomparable, invincable, unbeatable.

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8. 2009 - Zenyatta
She was unbeaten in her career and even had a Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic on her resume already. But Zenyatta's come-from-the-clouds victory in the 2009 Classic at Santa Anita cemented her status on the roster of legends.

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7. 1984 - Wild Again 
The inaugural Classic featured a Preakness winner and the son of a Triple Crown winner, but it was a smallish dark bay horse who stole the show, in a gritty stretch run that put the Breeders' Cup on the map at Hollywood Park.

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6. 2007 - Curlin
The 2007 Triple Crown season ranks among the top of all time - Street Sense, Hard Spun, Rags to Riches and Curlin all traded blows in the classics and made history in their own unique ways. But it all came down to the Classic, on a sloppy Monmouth strip where Curlin asserted his dominance.

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5. 1998 - Awesome Again
Considered by many to be the deepest Classic field ever assembled, the 1998 edition featured Skip Away, Silver Charm, Swain, Touch Gold, Victory Gallop and Coronado's Quest. Awesome Again blew them all away in a wild stretch run at Churchill Downs.

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4. 1987 - Ferdinand
A memorable battle of Kentucky Derby winners unfolded at Hollywood Park as Ferdinand and Alysheba duked it out to the line. The winner, by a whisker, was Ferdinand.

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3. 1989 - Sunday Silence
The rivalry of the ages, Sunday Silence and Easy Goer, came to a climax in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Easy Goer's home track, Belmont, played host, but it was Sunday Silence who endeavored to the victory and put to rest the question of which colt was superior.

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2. 2001 - Tiznow
In the shadow of 9/11, Tiznow held off the drive of the best horse in Europe and "won it for America", becoming the only dual Breeders' Cup Classic winner.

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1. 2010 - Blame
Zenyatta had the entire length of the Churchill Downs homestretch to catch Blame and keep her perfect record in tact, but for the first time she met an opponent who was up to the task in the most thrilling race the Breeders' Cup has ever seen.

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-- Candice Curtis, with advice from Travis Stone

 

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Older Comments about Top 10 Breeders' Cup Classics - With Video...

the other problem with the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita was that they never cleared out the former surfaces completely when installing and then reinstalling the Pro-Ride, so it was never a pure surface to begin with and that added to it's instability
The level playing field not my comment, but with regard to the surface, geography played a part given the tracks proximity to the San Gabriel mountains. Heavy rains and flooding/runoff from the mountains washed away part of the pro-ride surface in 2009-10 costing them racing days and $$$$$. Also, I don't believe it ever drained as advertised like the cushion track that cost multiple dates in 08.. It was a safer surface for horses, by reported fatilities, signifigantly so, even factoring in the lost days. But here (probably even more here given the state budget and miserable economy), as everywhere $$$$ talks and a closed track can't produce revenue. And with Awesome Gem that 1 win happened to be the Hollywood Gold Cup and he produced clutch efforts in the Pacific Classic, San Antonio and Goodwood in over synthetics so I'll give him credit for his ability to handle prety much anything thrown his way.
Your comment is well taken. I handicap most recent form, being the last three months up to the race. No horse could've prepped @ Churchill, since they had just opened the track for the fall meet. But, Blame and Curlin had won the Stephen Foster in July. But, to say that Awesome Gem si "proven", when his career record on synthetic is 1-for-10, is a stretch. Einstein is probably one of the greatest at running on all three surfaces. You mentioned that it's a "level playing field". My question is, if "it's level", why did Santa Anita take up the track after two plus years(long enought to run 2 BC's)?
In prepping, Einstein ran @ Del Mar in the Pacific Classic, and prior to that, ran in @ Arlington in the Million. Awesome Gem prepped @ Hawthorne, Del Mar, and Emerald Downs. Gio Ponti prepped on turf @ Belmont & Arlington. I stand corrected, there were originally 13 horses, but Quality Road was scratched at the gate.
  • stevebiscuit · CauseForConcern, shadowmo said essentially what I was gonna say. The horse's in the 2009 Classic didn't get beat by the track, but simply a superior racehorse. Zenyatta may have won by more had it been on dirt, just so long as it's normal dirt and not Churchill's sandy dirt. · 965 days ago
I guess i'm missing your point. By your standards then 0 horses prepped @ CD this year, Blame in 2010 0 horses prepped @ CD, same 0 at Woodbine 96 for Alphabet Soup and Ghostzapper @ LoneStar in 04. Curlin 08 @ SA had 1 horse. Curlin 07 @ Monmouth 0. Seems like a common occurence.
I really appreciae Zenyatta, BUT that pro ride at Anita helped her a lot.
  • Mike in SB · I believe Zenyatta faced a much tougher field in the 2009 Classic because it was on pro ride than if it had been run on dirt. 2009 was a very weak year for older main track male horses and the 3 year old males were not much better. Since it was on pro ride she faced good European males on a surface they seemed to like, they did great the year before anyway, and the best American older male, Gio Ponti was proven on the track. If it had been run on dirt, the Europeans would have been at a big disadvantage and Gio Ponti probably goes in a turf race. · 965 days ago
How would you not consider Einstein and Awesome Gem as proven? And Gio won the Sir Beaufort at SA. Plus who was the 13Th horse? Are you sure you are looking at the 2009 field?
Out of a 13 horse field, Colonel John, Richard's Pass, and Mine That Bird, were the only males that prepped at that track. All but a couple?????
I wouldn't say "a lot". All but a couple of the males in the 09 Classic were proven over the surface. Overall it was a level playing field.
Zenyatta's run in the 2010 Classic was one for the ages. Coming from further back than ever before, having to check off of Quality Road, hitting the breaks and angling out in the stretch, plus having to regather momentum would have kept any other horse from hitting the board. But Zenyatta's class overcame these obstacles and nearly won. Had she pulled it off the victory would have been one of the greatest in racing history, one that would've rivaled Secretariat's Belmont. Instead, that Classic will be viewed in the same light as the 1919 Sanford Stakes or as Allen Jerkens put it: "They will look at the Classic the same way they look at Man O’ War getting beat”. I wholeheartedly agree!
I was on the wire at the inaugural and it was a race to behold: three horses going full out bashing into one another but none would give an inch to the wire....NONE like it since other than Cigar and Alphabet Soup at Woodbine in 96
sunday silence should be no.1! c'mon people! Then Cigar, then Zenyatta, the rest really don't cut it.
@buckpasser That was a run for the ages.
I dont think a BC ladies classic score coupled with a BCC win both on synthetics, which have been ridiculed and switched back to dirt. And a runner up finish against possibly the worst Classic field ever assembled. Even begins to equate to Goldikova's already 3 and possible 4th Mile victories, nor Tiznows far more fantastic back to back victories.
Loved seeing all these races. Brought back alot of great memories. But I have to say my favorite breeders cup race of all time was not the classic but Personal Ensign's victory in the Ladies .
"If the Breeders' Cup were to change it logo, many believe a likeness of Zenyatta would be the fitting image. Through a Ladies' Classic score in 2008, by becoming the first female to win the Classic in 2009, and in spite of missing her return victory by a nose in 2010, the bold racemare captured the hearts of thousands." Taken from Claire Novak of ESPN.com or http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/7178490/zenyatta-blame-year-later.
I loved the 2K BC, when Tiznow withstood a "heart-pounding, pulsating" stretch drive from Giant's Causeway.
I think of all the horses wanting to win this and ready to win it is Uncle Mo who showed it when he finally got back to doing what he likes so he is a real likely good bet in the Classic...
I am no big MO fan but to race like that off the shelf against that level of competition the first back against seasoned horses, one had to be impressed with that Saratoga effort fiirst time off the layoff.
Im tired of hearing about Mo...he couldn't even beat Calebs Posse on a dry track...he will be lucky to even hit the board on saturday~