Cigar dies at 24
The great Cigar, two-time Horse of the Year, died Tuesday evening in Lexington, KY at the age of 24. Anyone involved in this sport in the 90s has a fond memory or two of the greatest horse of that decade, winner of 16 consecutive races.
Those were the pre-internet days when people went to the racetrack, for live racing and simulcast. March 27, 1996 was a Wednesday. It was also Dubai World Cup Day and the $4 million race, featuring Cigar, was scheduled for that morning. And the third level of the Canterbury Park grandstand was crowded. Yes, crowded on a Wednesday morning. Crowded with people. Some feigning illness to get out of work; many others scheduling out of office ‘appointments’ or simply saying screw it to everyday life and hustling to the racetrack to share the experience with other likeminded fans. You HAD to be there.
Cigar did not let us down that morning, winning his 14th in a row, this time by one-half length over Soul of the Matter.
Cigar existed in a world of his own in a time that seems quite distant now making one wonder, were it possible to replicate a career like that today, if a crowded simulcast center on a Wednesday morning would be the result.
Read DRF’s Jay Hovdey column here.
More DRF coverage including a link to Cigar’s lifetime past performances.
Countdown to the Cup Contest
This Saturday’s contest track is Keeneland. All 10 races will be used for the free-to-enter competition with $250 going to the player that accumulates the most points. There was an error in a mailer that was distributed at the beginning of the month and the contest tracks indicated that mailer are incorrect. Be assured that this Saturday the contest track is indeed KEENELAND and post time is noon.
For a look at the rules and last week’s winners follow this link.
Alex Canchari, injured in a riding mishap at Santa Anita October 3, is out of the hospital and beginning the rehab process. Alex reports that he is getting around better each day and that swelling to his face is gradually subsiding. He will remain in California for rehab. He broke his collarbone and ribs and suffered collapsed lungs as a result of the spill. A metal plate and screws were inserted to stabilize the collarbone.