A pair of Breeders’ Cup winners will square off on Saturday in the $500,000 Cigar Mile (G1), one of four graded stakes on an outstanding betting card at Aqueduct.
Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) winner Groupie Doll is back taking on the boys for the second time in the Cigar Mile. The mare was beaten just a nose last year. She is the 3-1 morning line favorite.
Dirt Mile (G1) victor Goldencents is the 7-2 second choice in the field of 11. The Doug O’Neill trainee took advantage of a speed friendly racing strip to win his second Grade 1 of the year in the Dirt Mile. The colt won the Santa Anita Derby back in April.
Both will be running for an enhanced purse of $1 million since they are Breeders’ Cup winners. The NYRA also enhanced the purse to $750,000 for any Grade 1 winner in the field.
There are four that qualify for the added bonus led by Verrazano, who won the Haskell Invitational (G1) and is looking to rebound off a fourth in the Dirt Mile. Capo Bastone, Flat Out and Private Zone are also Grade 1 winners.
Derby hopefuls will be action as well, with a field of nine lining up in the $400,000 Remsen (G2) at nine furlongs on the main track.
Champagne (G1) runner up Honor Code is the 9-5 morning line favorite. The Shug McGaughey trainee is currently at 11-1 in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
The stakes action starts with $400,000 Demoiselle (G2) for juvenile fillies followed by the $400,000 Comely (G3) for three-year-old fillies.
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Let’s head out to the Big A for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Aqueduct Race 8 The Cigar Mile G1 (Post time 3:20 ET)
10 Verrazano 8-1
4 Groupie Doll 3-1
9 Flat Out 6-1
8 Goldencents 7-2
Analysis: Verrazano is going to be a decent price in this spot as he was not much of a threat to Goldencents in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), checking in fourth and beaten 7 3/4 lengths. Don’t forget the racing strip was kind to speed that day and this guy was caught in tight quarters heading into the first turn, came with a five wide rally and made a mild late bid when angled down toward the inside for the stretch drive.
The colt ran huge winning the Haskell Invitational (G1) three back earning a 116 Beyer. The runner up in that race was Power Broker, who came back to win the Indiana Derby (G2) at Hawthorne in his next outing on Oct. 5 with a 99 Beyer. Coming out of the Haskell the Todd Pletcher trainee may have bounced in the Travers (G1), and he also appears to want nothing to do with 1 1/4 miles. The colt looks capable of bouncing back here and he won the Wood Memorial (G1) over the Big A main track back in April. Pletcher has won this race four times.
Groupie Doll takes on the boys again for the second year in a row, last year getting beaten just a nose in this race to Pletcher’s Stay Thirsty in a solid effort. She ran big last out winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) and this will be just her fifth start of the year.
She went through the sales ring shortly after her last win, bringing $3.1 million and her new owner decided to let her race one more time. The one turn mile suits her.
Flat Out came up short in the stretch last out in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), checking in eighth. The Bill Mott trainee has only won three of his last 16 starts, but is usually right in the mix and is a multiple Grade 1 winner. His career top speed fig came in the Westchester (G3) back in April at Belmont Park which was a one-turn mile. He fits with his best and may end up getting overlooked on the tote.
Goldencents went gate to wire to win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) but did take full advantage of a racing strip that was playing to speed that day. Two back he made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1), beaten a half-length for the top spot.
Except for his trips on the Triple Crown trail, this guy has been right in the mix every time out. The one turn mile should suit this guy, but his price may end up on the light side.
WIN: #10 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 4,10 / 4,8,9,10
TRI: 4,10 / 4,8,9,10 / 2,4,8,9,10