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Breeders' Cup Flashback: Unbridled Gets Through At The Wire

Since the first Breeders' Cup Classic in 1984, only two horses have won the Kentucky Derby and the Classic in the same year: Sunday Silence (1989) and Unbridled (1990).

In some ways it's not surprising that the Derby winner has failed to win the Classic in the same year - the early retirements for so many of our three-year-old stars leaves us with little from the Triple Crown by the time the fall rolls around. But in other ways I thought Derby winners would have at least a moderately successful success rate. And it you include Alysheba and Ferdinand in the mix (two Derby winners that won the Classic in later years), the strike rate improves slightly. But, overall, Derby success has little to do with success at the Breeders' Cup.

The second and third legs of the Triple Crown haven't fared much better than the Derby in producing same year winners of the Classic. In 1992, A.P. Indy won the Belmont and went on to capture the Classic, while Curlin did the Preakness-Classic double in 2007. In a somewhat stunning run of futility, Curlin is the only horse in the last 20 years to win any leg of the Triple Crown and then win the Classic the same year. That streak is guaranteed to be extended until at least 2013.

(Sunday Silence is the only horses to win two legs of the Triple Crown and the Classic in the same year. Alysheba won the Derby and Preakness in 1987 and the Classic in 1988,)

Below is a summary of the Breeders' Cup Classic winners and the winners of a selection of the major Grade 1 races on dirt that same year.

Yr BC Classic KY Derby Preakness Belmont Stakes JC Gold Cup Goodwood Super Derby Pacific Classic Travers Whitney Woodward Haskell
2012 I'll Have Another I'll Have Another Union Rags Flat Out Game On Dude Bourbon Courage Dullahan Alpha Golden Ticket Fort Larned To Honor and Serve Paynter
2011 Drosselmeyer Animal Kingdom Shackleford Ruler on Ice Flat Out Game On Dude Prayer for Relief Acclamation Stay Thirsty Tizway Havre de Grace Coil
2010 Blame Super Saver Lookin At Lucky Drosselmeyer Haynesfield Richard's Kid Apart Richard's Kid Afleet Express Blame Quality Road Lookin at Lucky
2009 Zenyatta Mine That Bird Rachel Alexandra Summer Bird Summer Bird Gitano Hernando Regal Ransom Richard's Kid Summer Bird Bullsbay Rachel Alexandra Rachel Alexandra
2008 Raven's Pass Big Brown Big Brown Da'Tara Curlin Well Armed My Pal Charlie Go Between Colonel John Commentator Curlin Big Brown
2007 Curlin Street Sense Curlin Rags to Riches Curlin Tiago Going Ballistic Student Council Street Sense Lawyer Ron Lawyer Ron Any Given Saturday
2006 Invasor (ARG) Barbaro Bernardini Jazil Bernardini Lava Man Strong Contender Lava Man Bernardini Invasor (ARG) Premium Tap Bluegrass Cat
2005 Saint Liam Giacomo Afleet Alex Afleet Alex Borrego Rock Hard Ten The Daddy Borrego Flower Alley Commentator Saint Liam Roman Ruler
2004 Ghostzapper Smarty Jones Smarty Jones Birdstone Funny Cide Lundy's Liability Fantasticat Pleasantly Perfect Birdstone Roses in May Ghostzapper Lion Heart
2003 Pleasantly Perfect Funny Cide Funny Cide Empire Maker Mineshaft Pleasantly Perfect Ten Most Wanted Candy Ride (ARG) Ten Most Wanted Medaglia d'Oro Mineshaft Peace Rules
2002 Volponi War Emblem War Emblem Sarava Evening Attire Pleasantly Perfect Essence of Dubai Came Home Medaglia d'Oro Left Bank Lido Palace War Emblem
2001 Tiznow Monarchos Point Given Point Given Aptitude Freedom Crest Outofthebox Skimming Point Given Lido Palace Lido Palace Point Given
2000 Tiznow Fusaichi Pegasus Red Bullet Commendable Albert the Great Tiznow Tiznow Skimming Unshaded Lemon Drop Kid Lemon Drop Kid Dixie Union
1999 Cat Thief Charismatic Charismatic Lemon Drop Kid River Keen Budroyale Ecton Park General Challenge Lemon Drop Kid Victory Gallop River Keen Menifee
1998 Awesome Again Real Quiet Real Quiet Victory Gallop Wagon Limit Silver Charm Arch Free House Coronado's Quest Awesome Again Skip Away Coronado's Quest
1997 Skip Away Silver Charm Silver Charm Touch Gold Skip Away Benchmark Deputy Commander Gentlemen (ARG) Deputy Commander Will's Way Formal Gold Touch Gold
1996 Alphabet Soup Grindstone Louis Quatorze Editor's Note Skip Away Savinio Editor's Note Dare And Go Will's Way Mahogany Hall Cigar Skip Away
1995 Cigar Thunder Gulch Timber Country Thunder Gulch Cigar Soul Of The Matter Mecke Tinners Way Thunder Gulch Unaccounted For Cigar Serena's Song
1994 Concern Go for Gin Tabasco Cat Tabasco Cat Colonial Affair Bertrando Soul of the Matter Tinners Way Holy Bull Colonial Affair Holy Bull Holy Bull
1993 Arcangues Sea Hero Prairie Bayou Colonial Affair Miner's Mark Lottery Winner Wallenda Bertrando Sea Hero Brunswick Bertrando Kissin Kris
1992 A.P. Indy Lil E. Tee Pine Bluff A.P. Indy Pleasant Tap Reign Road Senor Tomas Missionary Ridge Thunder Rumble Sultry Song Sultry Song Technology
1991 Black Tie Affair Strike the Gold Hansel Hansel Festin The Prime Minister Free Spirit's Joy Best Pal Corporate Report In Excess In Excess Lost Mountain
1990 Unbridled Unbridled Summer Squall Go And Go Flying Continental Lively One Home At Last Rhythm Criminal Type Dispersal Restless Con
1989 Sunday Silence Sunday Silence Sunday Silence Easy Goer Easy Goer Present Value Sunday Silence Easy Goer Easy Goer Easy Goer King Glorious
1988 Alysheba Winning Colors Risen Star Risen Star Waquoit Cutlass Reality Seeking The Gold Forty Niner Personal Ensign Alysheba Forty Niner
1987 Ferdinand Alysheba Alysheba Bet Twice Creme Fraiche Ferdinand Alysheba Java Gold Java Gold Polish Navy Bet Twice
1986 Skywalker Ferdinand Snow Chief Danzig Connection Creme Fraiche Super Diamond Wise Times Wise Times Lady's Secret Precisionist Wise Times
1985 Proud Truth Spend A Buck Tank's Prospect Creme Fraiche Vanlandingham Lord At War Creme Fraiche Chief's Crown Track Barron Track Barron Skip Trial
1984 Wild Again Swale Gate Dancer Swale Slew o' Gold Lord At War Gate Dancer Carr de Naskra Slew o' Gold Slew o' Gold Big Pistol