Ailing Cigar won't be ready for Gold Cup Bruised heel postpones run for the record 16th

Horse, Racing

June 12, 1996|By Dallas Morning News

DALLAS -- Cigar won't be racing June 30 in the Hollywood Gold Cup after all, his trainer, Bill Mott, announced yesterday.

The 1995 Horse of the Year and winner of 15 consecutive races, Cigar was to try to equal Citation's modern North American record of 16 straight victories in his Gold Cup run. But after the Massachusetts Handicap, run June 1 at Suffolk Downs in Boston, he was found to have a bruise on the heel of his right foreleg.

"We're running out of time now. . . . The problem is actually a little more than we bargained for," Mott said, pointing out that Cigar has not been back to the track for any gallops or training since the Mass Cap. "We feel he's doing better, but he's progressing slower than we hoped. It's one of those things. He'll be fine. But you're delaying your training schedule, and you can't have too many delays when you're going for this type of race."

Instead of Cigar, Mott will send Geri, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap, to the $1 million Hollywood Park race.

And the site and date of Cigar's next race are uncertain. Both Arlington International near Chicago and Sam Houston Race Park in Houston have offered to create a $1 million race to attract the superstar. Arlington owner Richard Duchossois has indicated the Cigar team could select its own date, as long as it wouldn't conflict with the Arlington Million on Aug. 25. The only Houston dates available are the first weekend in October, when Cigar is likely to race in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

Pub Date: 6/12/96

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