A great day of racing will take place at Aqueduct on Saturday with a trio of graded stakes events on tap, led by the $750,000 Cigar Mile H. (G1). Also on the stakes slate is a pair of Grade 2 contests for juveniles — the $300,000 Remsen S. (G2) for the boys and the $250,000 Demoiselle S. (G2) for the ladies.
The mouth-watering Pick 4 starts off with a salty maiden special weight race and concludes with the trio of competitive stakes races. I feel compelled to take a crack at the demanding sequence, which figures to yield a healthy return.
Race 7 — Maiden Special Weight
The first leg of the wager is not for the faint of heart with a dozen colts vying in a six-furlong dash. I have a hunch that #1 King Khozan (8-1) is a runner for conditioner Bill Mott. Chestnut colt has a very modest pedigree, yet he brought a hefty $260,000 at auction in the spring. My lone concern is the rail draw in a sizable field.
In addition to the top pick, I will add a pair of runners with experience, #6 Hedonistic (8-1) and #10 Trash Talker (7-2), who are both exiting an encouraging outing.
Race 8 — Demoiselle
A dozen two-year-old fillies will compete in the nine-furlongs affair. Shug McGaughey’s #5 Alandra (4-1) is my top pick, but I can not single her with confidence in a deep cast.
Tempted S. (G3) romper #2 Madean (7-2), Maid of the Mist S, heroine #6 Critical Value (8-1), and local maiden star #12 Lake Avenue (9-2) will also be included.
Race 9 — Remsen
A very competitive field will go 1 1/18 miles on the dirt in a tough race to decipher. I will use each of the Todd Pletcher pupils, #1 Chase Tracker (7-2) and #8 Alpha Sixty Six (4-1); Mott’s #2 Forza Di Oro (3-1); and the talented #4 Ajaaweed (9-2) from the Kiaran McLaughlin barn.
Race 10 — Cigar Mile
#6 Spun to Run (5-2) was never challenged in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and gets top billing. Hard Spun sophomore is peaking, and drawing directly outside of the morning-line choice is ideal.
It would be foolish to ignore the credentials and abilities of #5 Maximum Security (3-2). I am not in love with the multiple Grade 1 winner in this spot, but he could surely win the race for Jason Servis. I’d regret omitting the classy colt.
And I will also consider the possibility of a pace meltdown in the Cigar Mile, especially if the two favorites go toe-to-toe early on. The lightly raced #7 Nicodemus (20-1) is my longshot swing. Linda Rice pupil can be explosive on his best days, and I love that he comes in fresh for the assignment with Manny Franco.
- $.50-cent Pick 4: 1,6,10 with 2,5,6,12 with 1,2,4,8 with 5,6,7 = $72.