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The Breeders' Cup, which will be held on Nov. 8 at Churchill Downs, is an eight-year-old event consisting of seven races that are designed to determine the best thoroughbreds of the season. But what if they held a dream Breeders' Cup for all time? We asked SI's William F. Reed, who has been covering horse racing for 27 years, to give us his picks:
Sprint (six furlongs for 3-year-olds and up)—Ack Ack, Horse of the Year in 1971, had enough speed to carry him into racing's Hall of Fame. Next would come Coaltown, Citation's stablemate in '49, and Mr. Prospector, who set a Gulfstream Park record at this distance in '73.
Juvenile Fillies (1[1/16] miles for 2-year-olds)—Moccasin was named Horse of the Year by Turf and Sport Digest in 1965, a rarity for a 2-year-old filly. Right behind would be Landaluce, unbeaten when she died in '82, and Bewitch, the only horse to beat Citation during his 2-year-old season.
Distaff (1? miles for 3-year-olds and up)—There's Personal Ensign, who retired in 1988 with a perfect record, and Genuine Risk, who won the 1980 Kentucky Derby, but the nod goes to Ruffian (left), unbeaten against other females before breaking a leg in a '75 match race with Foolish Pleasure.
Mile (for 3-year-olds and up)—This was probably the best distance for Dr. Eager, who blazed lo a world-record 1:32[1/5] in 1968. Others to consider are Seattle Slew, the '77 Triple Crown winner, and Bold Rider, the '57 Horse of the Year and sire of Secretarial.
Juvenile (1[1/16] mile for 2-year-olds)—We're restricting this to 2-year-olds-who were unable to fulfill their promise. In 1966, the unbeaten Graustark was being called the next Man o' War when he suffered a career-ending injury in the Blue Crass Stakes. Following him would be Hoist the Flag ('70) and Devil's Bag ('83).
Turf (1� miles for 3-year-olds and up)—Fort Marcy, John Henry and Round Table were superb on grass, but the pick is five-time Horse of the Year Kelso.
Classic (1� miles for 3-year-olds and up)—How about a triple dead heat between Citation, the '48 Triple Crown winner, Man o' War, who lost only once in 21 career starts in 1919 and '20, and Secretariat, the '73 Triple Crown champ?