Cigar Wins 16th Race, Ties Record

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois -- Cigar has pulled neck-and-neck with the great Citation in the race for thoroughbred immortality.


Cigar matched Citation's modern North American record of 16 consecutive wins, pulling away to take the $1.05 million Arlington Citation Challenge by 3 1/2 lengths Saturday.


The victory earned Cigar $750,000, bringing the 6-year-old champion's career earnings to $8,819,815 -- another North American record.


Cigar's next scheduled race is the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 10, when he will try to surpass the mark Citation set from 1948 to 1950.


Racing from the outside post in the 1.8-kilometer, 10-horse race, Cigar stayed back in the pack down the backstretch. Ridden by Jerry Bailey, he made a strong move at the top of the turn, caught 23-to-1 longshot Dramatic Gold coming into the stretch and pulled away for the victory in 1:48.


Dramatic Gold held off Eltish to finish second. Unbridled's Song, the beaten Kentucky Derby favorite, never fired and finished next-to-last. Honour and Glory, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Metropolitan Mile winner, was fourth.


"He worked through the stretch, fought off a nice horse,'' Bailey said. The race was put together quickly by Arlington International Racecourse chairman Richard Duchossois after Cigar had to miss last month's Hollywood Gold Cup with a bruised right foot.


Cigar's popularity grew throughout 1995 as he won all 10 of his starts, including the Breeder's Cup Classic and seven other Grade I stakes.


He has been described as a savior for the flagging horse-racing industry.