Stallion Stories: The Unconquerable, Invincible, Unbeatable Cigar
By Margaret Ransom
A racing fan to the core, there hasn’t been an important race that well-respected Kentucky horseman and stallion manager Wes Lanter hasn’t watched, especially if it included any children or grandchildren belonging to one of his boys. But in 1994, Lanter was card-carrying bandwagoner for reigning Horse of the Year Holy Bull, who would meet up with the eventual superstar known as Cigar in the 1995 Donn Handicap (GI).
What Lanter remembers most from that 1 1/8-mile race was that it was a passing of the torch from one great racehorse to another. Cigar would earn his fourth consecutive victory on the way to an eye-popping and then-record-setting streak to tie the great Citation for the most consecutive modern day wins with 16, and Holy Bull would be shuttled off to stud at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky, suffering a career-ending injury before ever reaching the half-mile pole.
If one had to take the place of his beloved Holy Bull and carry the torch and the weight of a racing industry always looking for its next superstar, Lanter couldn’t think of a better candidate than Cigar… (more)