07/08/2011 5:40PM

Video: Historic Hollywood Gold Cup victories


The Hollywood Gold Cup began in 1938 as the feature race of the new Hollywood Park race track. Here are the most memorable moments in the history of the race. Video courtesy of Hollywood Park


On July 16, 1938, Seabiscuit won the first ever Hollywood Gold Cup, running the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.80. The time itself was not outstanding, but the race was a critical win for the 5-year-old, helping catapult him to the Horse of the Year award for 1938. Jockey George Woolf rode the winners in the first three Gold Cups.


In 1951, Citation captured the Gold Cup, becoming the first Triple Crown winner ever to do so. The purse from the win made the Calumet Farm product the first horse to eclipse $1 million in career earnings and highlighted a strong 6-year-old season in which he won 3 of 7 starts.


Swaps blew away all Gold Cup records in 1956 when he ran a blistering 1:58.60 for the win, a full second faster than the previous race record. Having won 8 of 10 races, he was named Horse of the Year.

Native Diver

Native Diver won the Gold Cup three times from 1965-67; no horse prior to him had ever won the race in consecutive years. In those three runs, he improved his time in each of them, going from 2:00.20 to 2:00.00 and 1:58.80 in 1967. His three Gold Cup wins solidify him as one of the most dominant California circuit horses in history, having earned more than $1 million in his career and only winning races inside California.


Affirmed is most famous for his 1978 Triple Crown win, defeating Alydar in each race, but his 4-year-old season was just as impressive. He won 7 of 9 starts that year including the Gold Cup, in which he posted a blistering time of 1:58.40, just 0.20 of a second behind Quack’s still-standing track record. Affirmed earned more than $1 million in the 1979 season, winning the champion older male award that year. In the race, Affirmed was ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., who holds the race record with nine wins.


Ferdinand won the Horse of the Year and champion older male awards in 1987, both in large part due to his 1987 Gold Cup win. He then won the Breeders’ Cup Classic that season over his rival Alysheba; the two, after subsequent rematches, both ran in the 1988 Gold Cup but fell short of Cutlass Reality, with Alysheba finishing second and Ferdinand third.

Cutlass Reality

In 1988, Cutlass Reality blew away a loaded field that included Ferdinand and Alysheba. The 6 1/2-length win would be a breakthrough victory for Cutlass Reality, who had never won a graded stakes race but finished with six on the year.


Horse of the Year in both 1995 and '96, Cigar won the 1995 Gold Cup as a part of a career-defining stretch in which he won 16 consecutive races. In that season he won all 10 of his starts, and the Gold Cup win displayed Cigar's versatility, with the Maryland foal showing he could win on the West Coast against a challenging field.