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Breeders’ Cup Classic 2014: Cigar Street Could Spring Upset

Breeders’ Cup Classic 2014 Cigar Street Could Spring Upset: Horses come and go, but some stick around a while. We have seen horses of fantastic caliber race at the highest level their entire career. Horses like Kelso, Game on Dude, Mucho Macho Man, and Cigar, have displayed talent over several seasons, remaining high on the radar of those looking for high-class horses.

Breeders' Cup Classic 2014 Cigar Street

The Breeders’ Cup Classic takes place at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, November 1, 2014.
Photo: Breeders’ Cup Photo ©

The Classic division is slightly depleted this year, as we near the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Last year’s top three finishers, Mucho Macho Man, Will Take Charge, and Declaration of War, will not be returning to try again. Palace Malice is out for the year, with possibility to start again in 2015. The rest of the older horses do not seem to compare to the three-year-old talents of 2014. Shared Belief looks to be unbeatable. California Chrome, the star of the spring, is back to avenge his good name. Tonalist looks to become another Belmont/BC Classic winners. Bayern is hoping to show his speed can carry him 10F. Who could possibly derail these dominant sophomores? Two words: Cigar Street.

Cigar Street is back for his third season at the track, but has only started eight times in three years. He began as three-year-old in 2012. Breaking his maiden in his second try, beating Last Gunfighter, he was thrown into the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. He finished fourth out of thirteen horses. Not a bad run for his first try at graded stakes competition. He wouldn’t reemerge onto the racing scene until December of 2012! He closed out his year with a win an Allowance Optional Claimer, to have two wins in four starts. He came back as older horse in 2013, winning his debut in an Allowance Optional Claimer, defeating horses like O’Prado Again and Ravelo’s Boy. From there, Bill Mott saw enough in his horse to try graded stakes company again. Cigar Street would make his sixth lifetime start in the Grade 3 Skip Away at Gulfstream. He completed the 8.5F race in an easy 1:56.84, beating multiple graded stakes winners such as Take Charge Indy, Pants on Fire, Golden Ticket, and Eldaafer.

Due to another injury, the Mott trainee wouldn’t emerge again until July 2014, working three furlongs in :37.76. Mott started Cigar Street back in an Allowance Optional Claimer at Saratoga this summer, going 9F on the main track. He was upset by Pick of the Litter by ½ length. The son of Street Sense, once again, was ready for more stiff competition. His most recent start came at Churchill Downs in the Homecoming Classic. Here, he beat high caliber horses such as Carve and Departing, and got his revenge on Pick of the Litter, who finished off the board.

With five wins and one second in eight career starts, Cigar Street seems to just be getting started. He has a pedigree to match as well. The son of Street Sense is out of a half sister to the great Cigar, who was Horse of the Year in 1995 and 1996. He has had issues due to injury, but Mott has done a wonderful job managing the horse, and has been working him at Belmont, with his most recent move being October 13, going 4F in :47.58, which was the 4th fastest move out of 68.

With pedigree and connections playing a role here, Cigar Street may just be ready to graduate as a grade one winner. If any of the blood that ran through Cigar is in Cigar Street, he is ready to spring an upset on November 1.

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Ten Close Calls in Breeders’ Cup History
A look back at Goldikova
Top Ten Breeders’ Cup Races Everyone Should See
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Top Ten Major Upsets in Breeders’ Cup History
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