Of all the races that make up the undercard on the Breeders' Cup program (excepting of course the Classic), the Mile might have had the most interesting renditions. The back-to-back wins of Miesque in the 80s, Da Hoss winning in 1996 and taking pretty much two years off and coming back to win in 1998, Domedriver upsetting Rock Of Gibraltar in 2002, and now Goldikova winning the last two Miles in 2008 and 2009 at Santa Anita. She will be coming back to Churchill Downs to try and make it three straight this year. The last time a horse tried to win three consecutive runnings of the Mile was Lure in 1994.
Lure had won the Mile in both 1992 at Gulfstream and Santa Anita in 1993. His try for three in a row (much like Goldikova) came in 1994 at Churchill Downs, does that sound familiar? Well, Lure would not make it three straight at Churchill Downs that year. He wouldn't even be a contender, finishing ninth of fourteen. No, the winner that year would be European invader, Barathea, who had won the Irish 2,000 Guineas previously in his career and was ridden by Frankie Dettori. As a matter of fact, this would be the first of Dettori's nine Breeders' Cup victories in his storied career. He had Barathea fairly close to the pace during the early run of the race and then once he uncoiled Barathea at the top of the stretch, the race was over. Johann Quatz ran on from way back to finish second and Unfinished Symph ran third after being part of the pace setup.
If you would like to watch a replay of the 1994 Breeders' Cup Mile, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDta0E5_nNY. Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!