An absolutely stacked field heads to the gate in the Grade I, $400,000 Cigar Mile this Saturday at Aqueduct.
Champion Groupie Doll, a nose second in this year a year ago, will hope to knock off her male counterparts in the weekend feature. The recent auction purchase has been kept in training for this race and will not need much improvement to win this race after her run a year ago for conditioner ‘Buff’ Bradley. The classy mare comes off a win in the Breeders’ Cup filly and Mare sprint (G1) and could have another big one in here for today.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will be well represented in this race with a trio of top prospects, led by multiple Grade 1 winner Verrazano. The son of More Than Ready was last seen finishing fourth in the Dirt Mile (G1) with a tough trip and the cut back to one turn could do the trick for the talented colt, who will be making his last run before going off to stud. Multiple Grade 2 star Forty Tales is at his best from seven panels to a mile and the son of Tale of the Cat had a nice layoff in advance of this, as he runs well while fresh. Expect him to be moving late. Capo Bastone, a fine winner going away of the King’s Bishop S. (G1) two prior, showed little in the Turf Sprint (G1) on Cup day but is much better than that, and he was a good second in his lone run at this distance.
If Dirt Mile (G1) romper Goldencents opts for this race, the Doug O’Neill trainee could be the one to beat. The sophomore son of Into Mischief ran arguably the best race at Santa Anita all Cup weekend and is perfectly matched at the mile trip. Multiple Grade 1 hero Alpha, recent Bold Ruler (G3) victor Clearly Now, Bill Mott’s old class warrior Flat Out, Vosburgh (G1) champ Private Zone and Dirt Mile (G1) runner-up Golden Ticket add incredible depth to this field.
Three other graded races will be held on Saturday — $250,000 Remsen S. (G2), $250,000 Demoiselle S. (G2) and the $200,000 Comely S. (G3). In the Remsen, the highly rated Honor Code looks the one to beat and hold off in the lane for trainer Shug McGaughey. A smashing debut winner at the Spa, the son of A.P. Indy just missed with a furious late rally in the Champagne S. (G1) and was flattered when the horse that beat him ran a huge second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) next out.
Likely main dangers to that colt include unbeaten Nashua S. (G2) winner Cairo Prince, who looms a big threat for conditioner Kiaran McLaughlin. The Pioneerof the Nile colt has done little wrong and could be a real nice one. Nashua second Financial Mogul, third placer Noble Moon and fine maiden winner Wicked Strong, also are likely for this one.
In the Demoiselle, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) third Rosalind could show up in this spot for conditioner Ken McPeek. The late running daughter of Broken Vow was a bit unlucky not to have finished second or even won that last one out west, but gets nine panels to work with in here and should have little excuse.
Also pointing for this race is smart recent graduate America, the Grade 1-placed Dancing House, Tempted S. (G3) runner-up Divided Attention, smart maiden winner Penwith, and potentially a trio of maiden winners – Skye Saratoga, Spring Again and Streethomealabama. Stopchargingmaria, who dusted the Tempted S. (G3) by 10 lengths last time, is possible as well.
The Comely S. will feature Wedding Toast, who was a fine winner of the Belle Cherie S. in her latest showing. The well-bred Kiaran McLaughlin trainee has been sensational in her brief career to this point and looms large with a top effort in this affair. Bob Baffert’s Fiftyshadesofhay and graded winner May Happy Face, fourth in the Cotillion (G1) last time, look like the main contenders to knock off the favorite.
Friday will play host to the $250,000 Go For Wand H. (G2), while the Thanksgiving feature is the $150,000 Fall Highweight H. (G3).
Aqueduct 2013 Fall Wagering Highlights
The new 50-cent trifecta will be offered by The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) at Aqueduct beginning Friday, November 1. The bet will be available on all NYRA races that currently offer trifecta wagering.
The 50-cent trifecta is the second new wager offered by NYRA at the Aqueduct meet, joining the 50-cent Pick 5 wager that spans races 1-5. NYRA also offers a 50-cent minimum Pick 4, as well as a 10-cent superfecta, in which the first four finishers of a race must be selected in the correct order.
There will be a $250,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 on all Saturdays beginning November 9.
Bet Aqueduct horse racing online with TwinSpires and watch free Aqueduct race replays with TwinSpiresTV!
About the Cigar Mile
The Cigar Mile was run as the NYRA MILE prior to 1997. It was renamed that year in honor of the two-time Horse of the Year who won the 1994 edition. Cigar equaled Citation’s modern-day North American record of 16 consecutive victories with his win in the Citation Challenge at Arlington International in 1996. Among his victories during that streak were the 1995 Woodward, the 1995 Jockey Club Gold Cub, the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic, and the 1996 Woodward, all at Belmont Park; as well as the aforementioned 1994 NYRA Mile at Aqueduct.
The NYRA Mile was created by former NYRA President Jerry McKeon. The one-mile distance was chosen to attract both sprinters and distance horses. Not run in 1993.
Past Winner of the Cigar Mile
Aqueduct 2013 Fall Meet Information
Dates: November 1 – December 31
Aqueduct horse racing schedule: Aqueduct Racetrack generally will be open Wednesday through Sunday. The track will be closed on Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25, and will conduct live racing on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, December
Post times: 12:20 p.m. ET daily with the exceptions on Thanksgiving Day and Friday and Saturday, November 29 and 30. Post time on Thanksgiving Day is 11:25 a.m. ET, with the first race going off at noon on Friday and Saturday, November 29 and 30.
Aqueduct Racetrack Information
Main track (dirt): 1 1/8 mile oval
Inner dirt track: 1 mile oval
Turf: 7/8 mile 43 feet, oval