Breeders’ Cup Sprint Foes Face Off in Cigar Mile

Secret Circle, Private Zone and Bourbon Courage exit the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and headline the Cigar Mile at the Big A. (Phoro credit: Breeders’ Cup Ltd.)

A field of nine will line up on Saturday at Aqueduct in the $500,000 Cigar Mile (G1), the last Grade 1 race in New York this year, the race attracting the runner up, third and fourth place finishers from the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

The Bob Baffert trained Secret Circle is the 2-1 morning line favorite and was second in the Sprint, beaten a half-length for the top spot by Work All Week. It was another 1 ¼ lengths back to third place finisher Private Zone, who is the 3-1 second choice in the Cigar Mile. Private Zone ran second in the race last year at odds of 32-1.

Bourbon Courage came with an eight wide run to rally strongly to finish fourth in the Sprint, drew the outside post, and is 10-1 on the morning line.

Two are coming out of the Kelso Handicap (G2) on Sept. 27 which was won by Vyjack, who is 8-1 on the morning line. Itsmyluckyday was the beaten favorite in the Kelso after winning the Woodward (G1) in his previous outing. The Ed Plesa trainee is 5-1 on the morning line.

Any previous Grade 1 winner competing in the Cigar Mile will be running for a purse of $750,000, while any previous Breeders’ Cup winner will run for a purse of $1 million.

There is a trio of graded stakes supporting the Cigar Mile: the $400,000 Remsen (G2), the $400,000 Demoiselle (G2) and the $400,000 Comely (G3).

Let’s head out to the Big A for Saturday’s featured race of the day:


Aqueduct Race 10 The Cigar Mile G1 (Post time 4:17 ET)

2 Itsmyluckyday   5-1

4 Vyjack   8-1

6 Secret Circle   2-1

1 Private Zone   3-1

Analysis: Itsmyluckyday did not produce a lucky day for chalk players last out as he was the beaten favorite in the Kelso Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park going a mile. The colt tracked the early pace while in between foes and did not show his usual punch late, checking in third and beaten 3 1/2 lengths. The colt came into the Kelso off back-to-back career tops, a runner up finish in the Whitney (G1) followed by a game win in the Woodward (G1).

It looks like he bounced last out and the barn bypassed the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and pointed him toward this race. The colt owns a solid pace profile throughout and looking for him to bounce back with a much better effort here. The 5-1 morning line looks more than fair.

Vyjack was the winner of the Kelso and the RRod trainee earned a career top speed fig in the effort. Two back he made a mild late run to finish third in the Forego (G1) at seven furlongs. The one turn mile distance seems perfect for him and he has won three of his four starts over the Big A main track. The gelding is at the top of his game here and he should get a good trip tracking a fast early pace.

Secret Circle made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), beaten a half-length for the top spot. He makes his third start off the layoff here for the Bob Baffert barn and this guy has landed in the exacta in 11 of his 12 career starts including winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last year. He won last year’s Rebel (G2) and Southwest (G3) going two turns and looks very capable of handling the stretch out to a one-turn mile here.


WIN: #2 to win at 3-1 or better.

EX: 2,4 / 1,2,4,6

TRI: 2,4 / 1,2,4,6 / 1,2,4,6,9


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