The 1990 Breeders’ Cup Classic

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The 1990 Breeders’ Cup Classic

Winner: Unbridled

The 1990 Breeders’ Cup World Championships took place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on October 27th. It was the seventh edition of the premier North American horse racing event and featured a number of exciting races and finishes. It also was a day of tragedy as both Go for Wand and Mr. Nickerson died on the track – Go for Wand shattered her foreleg during the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and was euthanized post-race and Mr. Nickerson died of a heart attack during the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Putting aside the tragic deaths of Go for Wand and Mr. Nickerson, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) was a memorable event as Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Unbridled pulled a last to first move to win the Classic. Unbridled was saddled with having to start out of Post Position 14, which many pundits believed would hinder his ability to be factor in the race, but he would prove his doubters wrong.

Unbridled got off to a slow start but would make a race-winning comeback that would eventually see him get past Thirty Six Red and Ibn Bey, who had jumped out ahead of the pack. Neither of two had ran on dirt surfaces before, though. They would finish behind Unbridled, with Ibn Rey in second and Thirty Six Red coming in third. Unbridled’s official winning time was 2:02.36 and he paid $15.20 for the win.

It was Unbridled’s first career Breeders’ Cup start and win. It was the first win and second Breeders’ Cup start for trainer Carl A. Nafzger, who had previously trained Star Choice to a runner-up result in the 1984 Breeders’ Cup Mile. Jockey Pat Day earned his fifth career Breeders’ Cup win and second overall Classic title. Day rode Wild Again to a Classic win in the first ever Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 1984.