ELMONT, N.Y. -- Cigar wrapped up the Horse of the Year title in yesterday's Breeders' Cup -- and will become the first Maryland-bred in 50 years to win the postseason award.
But other horses with Maryland connections fared less well on yesterday's program.
Concern, last year's Classic winner, trailed the field as he did a year ago, but couldn't get untracked in the mud. He finished eighth, 14 3/4 lengths behind Cigar.
"I got him back where he wanted to be," said jockey Mike Smith. "But he just couldn't make up any ground."
Maryland-bred Awad, sent off at 8-1 odds in the Turf, finished sixth, beaten about 11 lengths by Northern Spur. Like Concern, he lagged far back early. He swung wide in the stretch but couldn't rally effectively in deep going.
"Let's face it, we'll never see conditions like this again," said trainer David Donk. "That might have been the slowest 1 1/2 miles in American history (2 minutes, 42 seconds, 18 seconds off the track mark)."
Awad will not go to the Japan Cup as previously scheduled, but will be given a vacation and will be sent to Florida for the winter.
Maryland Million Lassie winner Mystic Rhythms finished fourth in the Juvenile Fillies, and Maryland-based Da Hoss finished 13th and last in the Sprint.
There were plenty of supporters from Maryland on hand to root for the state-breds. About 20 members of the Maryland Horse Breeders' Association chartered a bus for the occasion, led by MHBA president Josh Pons and the organization's new executive director, Tim Capps. The Pons family operates Country Life Farm in Bel Air, where Cigar was foaled.
Sales reject wins Juvenile
The Juvenile winner, Unbridled's Song, made headlines before he ever raced.
He was the colt who brought $1.4 million at the Barretts 2-year-old Sales in Pomona, Calif., last March, and then was turned back by the Japanese buyers because X-rays showed he had "a flake" or sliver of a bone fragment in his ankle.
Ernie Paragallo, who had purchased the colt for $200,000 the previous year at the Saratoga, N.Y. sales and consigned him to the California auction, took what amounted to a $1.2 million loss in stride and kept the colt.
"He sent the horse to Florida. The flake didn't require surgery," said Paragallo's adviser, New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace. "The ankle was blistered [with a counter-irritant] and the horse was just given some time."
Nicknamed Holy Bull Jr., because of his long stride and gray color, Unbridled's Song won his first start, finished fourth in the Champagne Stakes and then turned back Hennessy in the Juvenile.
Jim Ryerson, who formerly trained in Maryland and was at one time an assistant to John Tammaro Jr., trains Unbridled's Song.
The horse will take the Florida route to the 1996 Triple Crown.
Bailey, Smith riding doubles
New York regulars Smith and Jerry Bailey pulled off riding doubles in the Breeders' Cup.
Bailey not only won with Cigar, but also with My Flag in the Juvenile Fillies. Smith scored with Inside Information (Distaff) and Unbridled's Song (Juvenile).
Two ex-Maryland jockeys, Kent Desormeaux and Chris McCarron, both based in California, had a win apiece. Desormeaux scored the biggest upset with surprise Sprint winner Desert Stormer.
John Murtagh is Ireland's leading rider. His winning mount on Ridgewood Pearl in the Mile, the lone European victory yesterday, was his first U.S. ride.
Shug McGaughey pulled off a winning training double with the Ogden Phipps-owned fillies, My Flag and Inside Information.
Jenny Craig's Turf loss
Ron McAnally might have trained the 1-2 finishers of yesterday's Turf, but he failed in his efforts a couple of weeks ago to buy runner-up Freedom Cry for diet guru Jenny Craig.
McAnally trains the winner of the Turf, Northern Spur, whom he bought in Europe late last year for Oaklawn Park president Charles Cella. Cella paid $1.3 million for the colt.
Then a couple of weeks ago, McAnally was offered the chance to purchase Freedom Cry in France for Craig after the horse finished second in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe.
But the sale fell through when the horse, who missed by a neck yesterday to Northern Spur, failed a pre-purchase veterinary exam.
Stormy weather rained on the parade of Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr., who was scheduled for his final mount in the United States.
Classy Mirage, a 5-year-old mare Cordero was set to ride in the $1 million Sprint, was scratched because of the wet track conditions.
Cordero plans to ride one more time in Puerto Rico.