Bio from America’s Best Racing
Bill Mott started his training career early in life. Mott owned and trained his first horse, a $320 mare named My Assets, who he ran at unrecognized meets in South Dakota, winning his first race at a recognized track with her at now-defunct Park Jefferson. Aided by purse earnings from My Assets, he spent $2,000 on a horse named Kosmic Tour, who won the South Dakota Futurity at Park Jefferson before Mott was out of high school. After high school, he worked for three years under Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, before going out on his own in the fall of 1978 and as they say, the rest is history:
Mott will always be best remembered for his training of Cigar, winner of a record-tying 16 consecutive races in 1995-96. The streak included victories in the 1995 Breeders' Cup Classic and the inaugural Dubai World Cup, and ended with the Arlington-Citation Challenge. Said Mott of Cigar, "He's the best horse I've ever trained. He may be the best horse anyone has ever trained."
Cigar's streak ended in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, and he closed his racing career running third in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Classic. Until passed by Curlin in 1998, Cigar retired as the highest money-earner of all-time with purses of $9,999,815. After a public retirement ceremony at Madison Square Garden in New York, Cigar was to join the stallion band at Ashford in Versailles, Ky., but due to infertility, lived out his days as a star attraction at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Mott has trained seven year-end champions: Ajina, the top 3-year-old filly of 1987; Cigar, the top older male and Horse of the Year in 1995 and 1996; Escena, the top older female of 1998; Theatrical, the top turf male of 1987; Paradise Creek, the top turf male of 1994; Royal Delta, the top 3-year-old filly of 2011 and top older female in 2012 and 2013; and Close Hatches, the top older female of 2014.