Ten Things You Should Know: Breeders’ Cup Mile
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor
1) The Breeders’ Cup Mile is part of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, held annually in the fall. The Mile is open to all horses 3-years-old at up and is run at one mile over the turf.
2) The Mile was among the original Breeders’ Cup races during its inaugural running in 1984 at Hollywood Park.
3) Among all of the Breeders’ Cup races, the Mile has the most multiple winners. Five horses have won the race multiple times: Miesque, Lure, Da Hoss, Goldikova and Wise Dan.
4) Two of the five multiple winners were females: Miesque won the race twice (1987 and 1988) and Goldikova has won the race three times (2008 to 2010). Miesque’s jockey during her two wins, Freddy Head, trained three-time winner Goldikiva. One of Miesque’s sons, fittingly named Miesque’s Son, sired the 2006 Mile winner Miesque’s Approval.
5) Goldikova is the only three-time winner of a Breeders’ Cup race. She ran third in her attempt to become the first four-time winner in 2011.
6) A total of five different fillies and mares have won the Mile. In addition to Goldikova and Miesque, distaffers Royal Heroine (1984), Ridgewood Pearl (1995), and Six Perfections (2003) beat males in the Mile, making it the open company Breeders’ Cup race with the most female winners (eight of twenty-eight editions).
7) Two-time winner Da Hoss stands as the only dual winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile to win it in non-consecutive years. He won the Mile in 1996, but injury kept him from racing for all of 1997 and he only raced once in 1998 before he entered the Mile. When he won the race again that year, track announcer Tom Durkin famously proclaimed after the race, “This is the greatest comeback since Lazurus.”
8) The 2002 Breeders’ Cup Mile produced one of the most stunning upsets in BC history. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Rock of Gibraltar, riding a streak of seven consecutive wins in Group 1 races, was beaten by the French-based longshot Domedriver who paid $54 for a $2 win bet.
9) In 1985, John Nerud, legendary trainer and founding director of the Breeders’ Cup, won the Mile with Cozzene. Cozzene was named the 1985 Eclipse winner for Outstanding Male Turf Horse; he was the last champion trained by the Hall of Fame trainer. Mr. Nerud is currently a director emeritus for the Breeders’ Cup.