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Breeders' Cup Top 10 - The Mile

Breeders' Cup Top Ten
The best editions of the Breeders' Cup Mile in history? Let the countdown begin...

10) 1985 - Cozzene the gray gets it done – Cozzene was a hard knocking lover of the grass who was one of my favorite turf horses of the 80’s. After running a solid race to finish third in the inaugural BC Mile to Royal Heroine, Cozzene would run the finest race of his career to dominate the second edition of the big race. Stalking a strong pace set by Al Mamoom, Cozzene turned it on in the stretch to power home 2 ¼ lengths clear of a three-horse blanket finish for second. The easy, course record setting victory helped earn the Jan Nerud trained five-year-old the Eclipse Award as America’s Champion Turf Horse.


9) 2004 – Singletary sacks his competition – Being a Chicago Bear fan, I had to like this one, right? Trained by Don Chatlos, and owned by the Little Red Feather partnership group, the horse named for the great Bear linebacker, and sporting the silks fashioned after the Bear’s uniform, swept to the lead leaving the second turn and rolled home to an upset victory at Lone Star Park. The victory for the four-year-old son of Sultry Song set off not only a big celebration among his connections but also those lucky enough to have bet him. Singletary paid $35 for the win, and triggered an exacta that returned nearly $1,500.


8) 2007 – Kip Deville handles the bog – Bred in Oklahoma, and by a no-name sire, Kip Deville was a true rags to riches story. In his finest race of a long and distinguished career, he relished the off going at Monmouth Park and sloshed home a length clear to win the 2007 BC Mile over race favorite Excellent Art. The following year, he returned to run a bang-up second to the soon to be legend, Goldikova. Unfortunately, the hand of fate would not be kind to the tough competitor after his Breeders’ Cup glory. After a long battle with laminitis, Kip Deville finally succumbed to the disease and was euthanized this June at the age of eight.


7) 2005 – Artie Schiller proves best – Redemption can be a beautiful thing. After finishing a disappointing 12th as the BC Mile favorite in 2004, one of my favorites, Artie Schiller, came back to prove what he was made of, with an impressive win in the 2005 edition. Saving ground from the inside, the Jimmy Jerkens trained turfer found a hole in the stretch and gutted his way to a hard-fought victory. At the wire the son of El Prado was ¾ of a length ahead of champion Leroidesanimaux, with the top quality filly Gorella, and the talented European, Whipper just a nose and a head farther back.

6) 1988 – Miesque becomes the original Queen of the Mile – After proving she could beat the best on firm turf the year before, French filly Miesque returned to dominate her competition once again, this time on a deep turf course at Churchill Downs. Exploding down the lane to romp by a widening four lengths at the wire, the daughter of Nureyev became the first horse to ever win twice at the Breeders' Cup. In winning the Mile with devastating ease over a deep and world class field, the remarkable Francois Boutin trained filly clinched her second consecutive Eclipse Award as Champion Turf Female.


5) 1992 – Lure sizzles in South Florida – With most eyes on the French star, and race favorite Arazi, it was the American three-year-olds who would steal the show … literally. While the 3-2 favorite floundered, a new star was born in the form of Claiborne Farm's Lure. In a performance that would shatter the track record, the son of Danzig sprinted right to the lead and never slowed down. Setting blistering fractions of :22.40, :45.80, and 1:09 flat, Lure led the field on a merry chase as he cruised to the wire an ultra-impressive three length winner for the first of back-to-back BC Mile victories. Future turf champion and rival, Paradise Creek completed the All-American, three-year-old exacta.

4) 2009 – Goldikova reigns supreme – Before the three-peat, came the repeat. Building on an electrifying run to glory the year before, Goldikova the Great returned to Santa Anita a conquering heroine. Rallying relentlessly on the outside, she would need her very best to overcome a huge performance turned in by Courageous Cat. The four-year-old filly, who had been farther back than usual, moved into eighth on the final turn, before swinging wide for the stretch drive. From there she showed her class by sprinting to the wire, collaring her game foe at the sixteenth pole, and going on to win by a half-length in the sparkling time of 1:32.26.

3) 2000 – War Chant in the final jump – After the first half of the Mile, race favorite War Chant was at the back of the pack in the 14-horse affair. In the stretch, the talented three-year-old was still well behind in 9th.  Somehow, when the dust cleared after a fantastic finish, it was War Chant’s number that illuminated the win position on the tote board. With Gary Stevens in the irons, the lightly raced son of Danzig made a furious run on the far outside, passing horses with frightening speed. On the wire he had a neck on the front-running long shot, North East Bound, with two other horses, Dansili, and Affirmed Success, right there in a thrilling four-way finish.


2) 2010 – Goldikova makes history – No horse had ever won three Breeders’ Cup races before, let alone the same one three straight times, but doing the extraordinary is right up Goldikova’s alley. As she had done so many times before, Goldikova exploded down the stretch to defeat an excellent field including runner-up and two-time champion, Gio Ponti. The convincing 1 ¾ length victory over the Churchill Downs sod proved without question that she is the greatest turf miler ever to run on American soil. Throw in the pure joy of her groom skipping to get to her in celebration after the race, and this race goes straight into Breeders’ Cup lore.


1) 1998 – Da Hoss returns in glorious fashion – How do you possibly top Goldikova? In what may have been the greatest training feat in Breeders' Cup history, Da Hoss had the seemingly impossible task of attempting to win his second Mile while only having one start in preparation in the two years before the race. The 1996 champion missed the 1997 season completely and had only one prep for the 1998 Mile. To top it off Da Hoss, trained by Michael Dickinson, not only had to fight off the rust, but also what to all the world looked like a winning move by Hawksley Hill. Da Hoss simply refused to lose though, as he dug down deep to come back at his competitor from the inside. As the two left the rest of the world class field well behind, It was Da Hoss who would who would edge by to win by a short head in the greatest Breeders’ Cup mile of all.


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Older Comments about Breeders' Cup Top 10 - The Mile...

I don't know if it was the camera angle that made it more dramatic, but I love that 2000 mile that War Chant won.
I personally would have Goldikova's 3rd straight as #1, but DaHoss was incredible!! Love these lists you're doing Brian...I don't have to seach all the replays on youtube this way! :)
I love these features, too! It's especially great for fans like me who don't have a decades-long history of keeping up. I will never, ever forget seeing Goldi's three-peat.
Love these Top 10's! What a great bunch in your Mile 10.

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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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