The 1993 Breeders’ Cup Classic
The 1993 Breeders’ Cup Classic was held at Santa Anita, and the $3 million Classic featured the favorite, Bertrando. Common belief was that closers could not succeed on the dirt at Santa Anita. Speed horses would often go to the front and hold down the stretch, or stalkers near the pace would prevail. But on this day and the biggest race of the year, that theory and belief would not hold true. A horse would win at the longest odds in Breeders’ Cup history, coming from the clouds to chase down Bertrando in the stretch for the upset victory.
Bertrando broke quickly to the front with Chris McCarron leading the way with another on-the-lead type just off his flank in his stablemate Marquetry, ridden by Kent Desormeau. Bertrando led them through a half mile in 46 4/5 seconds and Diazo was up close in third with Liffat Pincay, Jr. on a patient ride. The California legend Best Pal was between horses as they rounded the opening turn and laid back in fifth past the half mile marker. The 1993 Belmont Stakes champion Colonial Affair sat mid-pack along the backstretch, but did not have any run for rider Jose Santos.
Laying a little further back was European invader Arcangues, a 5-year-old horse based in France and trained by André Fabre. Jerry Bailey was riding him for the first time, and Arcangues was sent off at the longest odds at 133-1. The announcer said, “Arcangues is beginning to hit his stride” as they approached the six furlong marker in 111 1/5 and moved into the far turn. Bertrando maintained the lead into the stretch as an onslaught of horses tried to make their move. But between horses off the rail, Arcangues broke through and as he surged towards Bertrando, the track announcer screamed through “a huge upset is looming here as Arcangues comes flying on the outside.” He continued with “he runs by Bertrando and here is Arcangues to win it in an absolute shocker.”
Arcangues had indeed pulled off the biggest tote board upset in Breeders’ Cup history. At 133-1 odds, he paid $269.20 on a $2 win wager. Arcangues ran down the need-the-lead favorite, who had a comfortable trip for most of the race. No pace collapse occurred. Arcangues simply outran Bertrando, fair and square, and covered the 1 ¼ mile route in 2:00.83, running into the record books with a Breeders’ Cup Classic win.