Allen Paulson is much more comfortable posing in the winners' circle with the world champion race horse he owns and bred, Cigar, than he is standing in front of a microphone addressing thousands of people who are honoring him for being a humanitarian.

On Saturday, July 13, 1996, Allen Paulson's longest day, he did both.

Paulson's day began at sunrise on a midwestern morn, where Cigar was about to earn $750,000 for his 16th straight victory in a contrived contest that proved no contest called the Arlington Citation Challenge.

It ended near midnight on the make-believe New York street backlot of Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, where the 74-year-old Paulson and his wife, Madeleine, were feted by Concern Foundation and Concern II for helping to raise an organization record of more than $650,000 for cancer research.

Flying in a private jet will allow you to cover 2,000 miles in three hours.

Paulson managed some brief comments about his favorite topic, Cigar, between bites on a roast beef sandwich and congratulations from well-wishers in the throng of 2,000.

"His victory in Dubai was great because he had to travel half-way around the world and overcame a hoof injury which forced us to condense his training schedule," Paulson said of the most popular equine hero since Secretariat.

"But the race that convinced me he was legitimate was the Oaklawn Handicap (April 15, 1995), because he beat such a great field. To me, that was the turning point."

Long days are nothing new for Paulson, presently chairman emeritus of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. He has had many, to wit:

* The day in 1939, when, while working as a janitor at the Clinton Hotel in Iowa, he won $33.33 in a bingo game. He invested his winnings in a bus ticket to California, where he began working as an airplane mechanic at Hughes Aircraft Corporation.

* The day in 1941, when he began work as a mechanic at TWA for 30 cents an hour.

* The day he began purchasing B-29 engines and selling their parts around the world, eventually acquiring $52 million to buy a subsidiary that built corporate jets.

* The day in 1981, when he purchased his first horse and winner, Cardell.

* The day his brother, Marvin, died from cancer, and the day his mother-in-law, Laura Baker, succumbed from the disease.

Allen Paulson has had many long days, and July 13, 1996, was another, with one notable exception.

It was also his greatest.


CALL ME WILD -- Front-runner couldn't gain lead when breaking from outside with short run to first turn in 1 1/2-mile turf race. Was rushed to challenge thereafter but could never overtake eventual winner, who led throughout. Call Me Wild faded after a mile and was not persevered with. Can surprise vs. paceless cast of $62,500 grass routers.

CURIOUS VALUE -- First-time starter ran too good to lose but was compromised by inside post and odds-on winner. Should handle maiden claimers next time.

GENEVE -- Ran winning race in defeat and closed resolutely, despite racing greenly through the lane. Tab against maiden claimers.

THE HOMESTRETCH: One of several congratulatory messages sent to Paulson was from a fellow chairman: Frank Sinatra and his wife, Barbara . . . It was no accident that Paulson bred Cigar. He studies his bloodlines seriously before his stallions and mares get together, which they did 180 times last season . . . Among the many celebrities at the Concern bash was KCBS-TV newswoman Michele Gillen, who donated her time as a celebrity bartender. Asked by one unknowing reveler if she was a soap opera star, Michele quipped, "No, but my life is a soap opera." . . . Has there ever been a more talented horse who has been more mismanaged than Unbridled's Song? What would Bill Mott have accomplished with him? . . . Jerry Bailey again displayed why he is a fail-safe rider. Another jock might have panicked from the extreme outside post and tried to get to the rail where Cigar could have been consumed by a wall of horses. But Bailey knew he was on the best horse, elected to keep him out of trouble despite having to go wide the entire race, and still won with authority . . . Michael Wrona's call of Cigar's victory was accurate, exciting and epic, more than befitting the occassion. The same cannot be said for CBS-TV's on-air hosts, inexperienced and ill-prepared in the ways of thoroughbred racing to the point that their uneasiness penetrated the TV monitors . . . Racing secretary Martin Panza expects Serena's Song, Twice The Vice and Jewel's Princess to battle in the Vanity Handicap, one of four major races to be decided on Super Sunday, July 21, the day before the Hollywood meet ends. Wayne Lukas could send out Boston Harbor, Prairie Junction and Wrightwood against Mike Harrington's undefeated Swiss Yodeler and Big Cowboy in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship, while Hesabull, Semoran, Prince of Thieves, Slews Royal Son and Devil's Honor are expected to meet in the $500,000 Swaps Stakes. Caesars Palace Invitational winner Sandpit won't collect a bonus for winning that race unless he wins and at least six start in the Caesars Palace Turf Championship. Only Sandpit, Awad, Lassigny and Windsharp were considered definite, stakes coordinator Don Bredar said . . . Bob Meldahl was unconcerned that Corey Nakatani won't win the Hollywood Park riding title. "He's leading in money won, and that's more important," the agent said. "Plus, he's already won a Hollywood title." Meldahl feels the 25-year-old rider, who had accepted some 60 less mounts than leader Alex Solis, has yet to peak. "I think 1997 will be his year to become a national presence," Meldahl said . . . Ed's Holy Cow, a half-sister to 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull, has been sold for $70,000 to New York interests. The New York-bred, formerly trained by Bob Marshall, will be trained by Tom Skiffington . . . Eddie Gregson on his success this meet (nearly 53 percent winners): "I stable at Hollywood year-round, so my young horses are used to this track, and maybe that's a bit of an advantage. But I'm sort of blessed with sound, fresh horses with conditions, so it's worked out. I have a small stable (14 head) and it's hard to keep it going without replacements (Gregson doesn't claim horses. His owners either bought horses as yearlings or bred them). The owners (such as Vincent Kanowsky, Sandy Power, Jerry Frankel, John Harris and Lonnie Pendleton) have been patient, and that's the answer, basically. I haven't been raising any hell over here the last four or five years, so I'm glad they've been loyal."


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