CIGAR's DUBAI WORLD CUP and MADISON SQUARE GARDEN FAREWELL w/BONUS FOOTAGE
CIGAR'S DUBAI WORLD CUP 3/27/96 & MADISON SQUARE GARDEN FAREWELL 11/2/96 - two milestones in the life of the great CIGAR are presented in this interesting 52-minute time capsule:
1) his impressive victory in the inaugural running of the Dubai World Cup at Nad al Sheba Racecourse (the ENTIRE satellite feed broadcast coverage) and
2) his Madison Square Garden farewell
CIGAR had journeyed half a world away from the familiar sights and smells of the American racing scene. He had done what no champion American Thoroughbred ever had done before. Defying both precedent and logic, CIGAR had left the safe haven of the U.S. to travel 6,000 miles and defeat an all-star international field in the Dubai World Cup, winning a $2.4 million prize and a permanent place in history; in the most unlikely of places, greatness was achieved.
See the entire Dubai World Cup; included is all the pre-race activities leading up to the race, CIGAR's gutsy performance in the race itself featuring SOUL OF THE MATTER and L'CARRIERE, and all the festivities and jubilation following the race.
The real merit of a great horse is to still win when circumstances are against him and CIGAR had his share of obstacles to contend with: he was running at less than his best having missed eleven days of training after suffering a stone bruise in Florida; he was racing on an unfamiliar sandy surface; was traveling 6,000 miles and racing under lights at night for the first time. CIGAR had a planeload of excuses to get beat. But there you have it, the great ones come through and the best sport is always unscripted drama.
There was CIGAR - first past the winning post, under the light of a desert moon, and beating horses from all over the world. True believers in CIGAR had come to expect nothing less. The Dubai World Cup, contested on March 27, 1996, was CIGAR's 14th consecutive victory dating back to October of 1994. CIGAR already was the reigning American Horse-of-the-Year and during the 1995 season, he had won all ten of his races - a feat matched only once in the past 60 years.
Victory in Dubai raised the historical stakes and set CIGAR apart from the great American Thoroughbreds to which he had been relentlessly compared. There was no Dubai for SECRETARIAT, SEATTLE SLEW, AFFIRMED or SPECTACULAR BID; they had earned their greatness through traditional means through traditional American events; CIGAR did all that and then he added Dubai. His travel to Dubai gained him something important in his odyssey: respect. Like a great horse, CIGAR seized the moment and made it his.
CIGAR's owners, Madeleine and Allen Paulson, to their everlasting credit, even supplied fans with one last hurrah upon the announcement of CIGAR's retirement. On November 2, 1996, just one week after his third-place finish in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Classic at Woodbine, his final race after a van ride from Belmont Park escorted by New York City police, CIGAR was led into the main arena of Madison Square Garden in the heart of Manhattan for his official farewell appearance as part of the 113th annual National Horse Show. Introduced as the guest-of-honor, CIGAR reaped the benefits that a retiring champion deserved. Luminaries such as Bill Cosby, track announcer Dave Johnson, trainer BILL MOTT, and of course, the PAULSONS watched in admiration as CIGAR made one last trip around the dirt oval in his goodbye to racing fans. The arena was filled with some 16,000 spectators and when CIGAR broke into a jog under JERRY BAILEY circling the arena with a majesty all his own, the stadium rocked with the ovation of the crowd and as expected, dry eyes were few and far between. Gifts bestowed upon the retiring champ included two small wagons filled with apples and a solid gold horseshoe from the Budweiser Clydesdales.
MADELEINE PAULSON may have said it best in describing CIGAR's accomplishments and retirement, "CIGAR loved the attention and he deserved it. He may not have had the spring in his foot he used to have, but we're so very proud of him and grateful for everything he's given us." Anyone who ever witnessed CIGAR in action would cherish those memories forever. From his emergence in Florida, through the rising drama of his winning streak to the heights of the Breeders' Cup and the Dubai World Cup, CIGAR never gave less than everything he had.
AS AN ADDED BONUS...four nice segments from ESPN and HRTV on CIGAR are also included after the main feature ends:
1) CIGAR's disappointing stud career
2) "Where are They Now?" - an ESPN segment in which CIGAR is visited in 2006 at his home at the Kentucky Horse Park
3) CIGAR's former rider, newly retired JERRY BAILEY, visits CIGAR at the Kentucky Horse Park the Spring of 2006 during the week of the Blue Grass Stakes.
4) CIGAR's phenomenal career is re-visited on an HRTV's "Past the Stands" segment
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|