By Ray Wallin
Whether you are a casual racing fan or you make your living playing the races, the Breeders’ Cup offers great excitement and value. The Breeders’ Cup Mile has produced the most multiple winners of the same Breeders’ Cup race of all the current events. This list includes three-time winner Goldikova; and two-time winners Wise Dan, Da Hoss, Lure, and Miesque.
#1 The Verdict is In, No Four-peat!
In 2011, three-time winner Goldikova looked to become the only four-time winner of a Breeders’ Cup race. While the great filly would get on the lead briefly in the stretch, she would end up third as Court Vision and Turallure would get past her and duel to the wire.
#2 “Da Hoss is Da Best”
It sounds like something our friend Rail Guy would say while leaning against the paddock rail in between taking sips of his beer, right? In 1998, Da Hoss would earn his second BC Mile victory with an incredible stretch duel with Hawksley Hill where he would need to come back to win. I bet Rail Guy was smiling after “da hoss won dat race!”
#3 More Than Just a Song
The “war chant” is often associated with the Florida State Seminoles football team, which won national championships in 1993, 1999, and 2013. However, in 2000, it was War Chant who made a huge late run to get to the wire in the final strides over North East Bound who almost took the race wire to wire.
#4 It’s Not Greek to Him
In 1990, who would have thought that a jockey that had only returned to racing a mere 10 days or so prior would win a race, let alone a Breeders’ Cup race? Fifty-four-year-old racing legend Lestor Piggott would guide Royal Academy from six lengths behind in the stretch right down the middle of the track to catch Itsallgreektome at the wire.
#5 A Thriller from Artie Schiller
In 2005, a horse named for the childhood friend of William Entenmann of Timber Bay Farm would provide an amazing finish in the BC Mile. He would get a great trip sitting a couple of lengths off the lead and start making his move with the 2004 winner, Singletary, in the stretch. He would battle and eventually draw clear by a length over Leroidesanimaux and Gorella.
#6 Unfinished Business: The Last Tycoon
In 1941, an unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, by F. Scott Fitzgerald was posthumously published. Forty-five years later the Irish colt Last Tycoon would get the lead during the stretch and hold off a late charging Palace Music to finish first at 36-1. He would go on to be a leading sire in Australia.
#7 A T-Shirt That Won’t Stain and a Horse That Won’t Lose
In 2013, the Silic T-shirt was introduced that uses superhydrophobic nanotechnology to repel liquids. Fourteen years earlier in 1999, the French colt Silic used a late surge to capture the BC Mile. After battling to get the lead he had enough to hold off Tuzla and Docksider’s late runs.
#8 Third Time’s A Charm
In 2016, Tourist would enter the BC Mile for the third time. After finishing 13th and eighth in the previous two tries he faced a tough field that included the reigning champion Tepin. He would get a better trip than in his two previous efforts and would hold on while running up the rail to give Bill Mott his lone win in the race.
#9 Six Perfections is Perfect
In 2003, the horse that wasn’t perfect loading into the gate would be perfect as she hit the wire. She would split horses to get to the lead in the stretch and hold off the late charge by Century City on the rail. This would be Jerry Bailey’s only win in this race and gave trainer Pascal Barry back to back winners after winning the 2002 race with Domedriver.
#10 (Tie) Wise Dan Returns
In 2013, Wise Dan’s quest to try to win back to back BC Miles would start with a stumble out of the gate. He would sit back most of the race and in the stretch charge down the track to catch Za Approval!
#10 (Tie) She’s Something Special
In 2009, Goldikova was back to try to win back-to-back BC Miles. As the field entered the far turn she was sitting in second to last. She would hit the stretch wide and forced to go even wider before she hit the wire. As she gets past Courageous Cat and hits the wire Trevor Denman calls out that “she’s something special.” She would go on to three-peat and fail in her attempt to capture her fourth win two years late.
With Expert Eye retiring after his win in 2018, who do you like this year?