Bold Chieftain Rules Supreme
The Sunshine Millions Classic was inaugurated in 1981, and is hosted by at Santa Anita Park Racecourse. It is an event for four-year-old horses and older, and carries a purse of $1 million. Only horses which are bred in California and Florida are permitted to participate. This year a brilliant seven-year-old showed his worth and walked away with the champion title in the Sunshine Millions Classic. Bold Chieftain comfortably added $500 000 in purse money to his career earnings and re-affirmed his racing talent and abilities.
Bold Chieftain is based at Golden Gate Fields and trained by his co-owner Bill Morey Jr. Other co-owners include the Ernie Langbein Trust, Dwaine Hall and Ken Robinson. Bold Chieftain was ridden by Russell Baze in the Sunshine Millions Classic. Other major racing events already won by Bold Chieftain include the California Dreamin’ Handicap and the California Cup Classic. It was not one of the easiest victories Bold Chieftain has enjoyed, but his bravery and willingness to trust his jockey proved to be the right combination for all involved.
After suffering nine defeats consecutively, Bill Morey thought it might be time to retire Bold Chieftain to stud, but of the last five of his career starts he has won four, making the decisions very tough on Morey. Faced with a wall of four horses in front of them, and no gaps in sight, the Sunshine Millions Classic became a very tense race for Russell Baze. Fortunately, as the field of contenders headed towards the sixteenth pole, a very small gap briefly opened up, and when asked by his jockey to take it, Bold Chieftain did not hesitate. Palladio did turn on the pressure as he came charging to catch Baze and Bold Chieftain, but to no avail. Bold Chieftain had the lead and had no intention of giving up his pending victory. Commenting after the race, Morey expressed his delight at the past performances delivered by Bold Chieftain, saying: “This horse does things that take your breath away. These are the kinds of things that make the game so much fun, and we’re supposed to have fun out there. That’s quite a bit of money, too.”