Thursday, October 15, 2009

Longshot Lashkari

In the very first Breeders' Cup in 1984, there were quite a few hot horses coming into that historic day of racing. While Chief's Crown did succeed in winning the first-ever Breeders' Cup race, the Juvenile, and Slew O'Gold could not get the job done in the first-ever Breeders' Cup Classic (losing to another unlikely longshot, Wild Again), the one horse that seemed a hammer-lock winner that day was All Along in the Turf. All Along had built up an impressive resume' leading into that race, including wins in the 1983 Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe and D.C. International to make her 1983's Horse of the Year. She would end her career after the Breeders' Cup and be named to the Hall Of Fame in 1990.

The horse in the photo above had some different ideas about the first Breeders' Cup Turf. His name is Lashkari and he certainly had the pedigree to do great things. His Sire was 1971 European Horse of the Year, Mill Reef, who had also won the Arc and the Epsom Derby in that championship year for him. The Dam, Larannda, was also a multiple Group 1 winner in Europe. The horse was bred and raced by the Aga Khan, for heaven's sake. All of this backstory certainly did not earn the backing of the bettors on Breeders' Cup day. Lashkari was sent off at odds of 53-1 in the Turf. Lashkari would run the race of his life in the Breeders' Cup Turf, getting past All Along in the final strides to light up the toteboard to the tune of $108 for a $2 win ticket.

Lashkari would come back to defend his title at the Breeders' Cup in 1985 at Aqueduct and that time he could couldn't beat the superfilly of the moment, Pebbles, running fourth behind her brilliant come-from-behind victory. Lashkari did produce some excellence in his offspring. He is the damsire of another Arc and Epsom Derby winner, Sinndar.

Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!
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