Cigar to take his final bow in Louisville He'll trot out Saturday for Churchill Downs fans

November 05, 1996|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

The farewell appearance of Cigar, the Maryland-bred who became a champion, will be Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs. He will be paraded before his fans and then retired to stud.

Details of Cigar's appearance have yet to be completed, said Karl F. Schmitt Jr., vice president of corporate communications at the Louisville, Ky., track. But he said yesterday that Cigar would probably prance onto the famous dirt oval late in the afternoon, around the time of the featured race, the $200,000 Grade II Churchill Downs Distaff.

Cigar's owner, Allen E. Paulson, retired his 6-year-old champion after Cigar's third-place finish 10 days ago in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Woodbine. Paulson turned down a $30 million offer for Cigar from Japanese breeders. He said he will stand the horse at his Brookside Farm in Versailles, Ky.

Cigar, a rangy bay born at Country Life Farm near Bel Air, retired with the richest bankroll in thoroughbred racing history: $9,999,815. He finished his 33-race, three-year career with 17 wins in his final 20 starts. Sixteen of those wins came in succession, matching Citation's 46-year-old, 20th-century record for a North American-based horse.

Cigar's farewell appearance was to have been next Tuesday at Churchill Downs. But Paulson and Cigar's trainer, Bill Mott, weren't too interested in that.

"They wanted to do something on Tuesday," Mott said. "But Cigar's not really a Tuesday kind of horse."

Pub Date: 11/05/96

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