Many racing greats show brilliance early in their careers while others grow into their peak performances as they mature. With eventual Horse of the Year Saint Liam, it was the latter. He made nine starts as a 3-year-old and did not win a stakes race. His career began to blossom late in his 4-year-old season when he missed by a neck to eventual Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, while drifting out in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes. Blinkers were added to his equipment and he lost only two races throughout the rest of his career. During the first half of 1995, Saint Liam scored Grade 1 victories in the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream and the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs.
He entered the Classic with a powerful redemption win in the Woodward under new jockey Jerry Bailey. Despite breaking outward from post 12, he gained good position and swept four wide to win by a length over a stubborn Flower Alley to give Bailey his 15th Breeders’ Cup score.