all in Legends

There was excitement and uncertainty entering the inaugural Breeders’ Cup in 1984, but the initial championship had exceeded the hype even before it came to an unforgettable conclusion when three tenacious racehorses rumbled toward the Breeders’ Cup Classic finish line unwilling to give an inch.

When horses achieve greatness, or accomplish particularly memorable feats, it is customary for stakes races to be named in their honor.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a horse named Arrogate entered the spotlight with a series of victories in prominent stakes races.

Wait a minute — “a long time ago?” Wasn’t Arrogate at the peak of his powers just a few years ago, winning such prestigious events as the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Pegasus World Cup?

Once upon a time, not all that many years ago, there was a Thoroughbred racehorse named Wickerr who called California his home.

Much like the fabled Goldilocks, Wickerr was a picky individual with clear-cut preferences. But whereas Goldilocks could verbally communicate her disdain for poorly made porridge or uncomfortable beds, Wickerr – being a horse – could only communicate his preferences with visual demonstrations. We’re left to imagine his reasoning.

In today’s world of Thoroughbred horse racing, the path to winning an Eclipse award as champion 2-year-old is relatively clear. First, you win a maiden race for horses who have never won a race before. Then, you try to win at least one graded stakes race (preferably a Grade 1) and hopefully more; finally, you win either the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile or Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies to become the clear-cut champion of your division.

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!