Fantastic Race Horses of the United States
Foaled on April 18th, 1990 is retired race horse Cigar. Although he was bred to more than 30 mares, none of them conceived; thus, Cigar was found to be an infertile stallion. He is a favorite among some racing fans, and is enjoying a well-deserved retirement at the Kentucky Horse Park. He had a decent racing career with 19 wins, 4 second place finishes and 5 third place finishes from 33 starts. He was the highest earning American horse with USD 9,999,813 until 2008. As a result of his racing career, Cigar earned awards including U.S. Outstanding Older Male Horse in 1995 and 1996 and U.S. Horse of the Year again in 1995 and 1996. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2002, and he is #18 in the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century by Blood-Horse magazine. From North to South on the East Coast, his racing career is honored at race courses. In New York, Aqueduct Racetrack has the Cigar Mile Handicap; while, in Florida, there is a life-size statue of Cigar at Gulfstream Park.
Funny Cide was sired by Distorted Humor and out of dam Belle’s Good Cide. He was foaled on April 20th, 2000. He may be best known for his wins in the 2003Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The hopes for a Triple Crown winner were deflated when he came in 3rd on an extremely muddy track in the Belmont Stakes due to non-stop rain the entire previous day. His racing career has seen awards and honors including Funny Cide Street in Napa, California, the song Funny Cide both written and performed by Blue Hand Luke and the Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Another beloved race horse is Smarty Jones. He was foaled on February 28th, 2001 and was sired by Elusive Quality and out of dam I’ll Get Along. His wins in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes made him yet another Triple Crown hopeful. Yet again, horse racing fans were left in the lurch when he did not win the Belmont Stakes. Although he has retired from racing in early August 2004, his racing career earned him U.S. Champion Three-Year-Old Colt in 2004 as well as saw him honored with two separate Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park and at Parx Racing and Casino.
Most racing fans are also fans of Barbaro. Although he was a favorite in the Preakness Stakes, he suffered a fracture of three bones in his right hind leg ending his racing career forever. Even after immediate surgery, this famous race horse developed laminitis in his left hind leg in July then in both his front legs; thus, his doctors and owners knew he could not be saved so he was euthanized on January 29th, 2007. With an almost perfect racing record, Barbaro had 6 wins from 7 starts including the Preakness Stakes when he could not finish the race. He is honored with the Barbaro Stakes at Pimlico Race Course (home of the Preakness Stakes) and Delaware Park along with a statue commemorating Barbaro at the entrance to Churchill Downs. Horse racing fans of all generations were deeply saddened by the death of Barbaro.