Not all of the Breeders’ Cup champions have been sent to the sidelines or the breeding shed, with Goldencents and Groupie Doll heading to a showdown on Saturday in the $500,000 Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct.
The Doug O’Neill trained Goldencents is coming off a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) while Groupie Doll won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). As Breeders’ Cup winners, each will be running for a share of a $1 million purse as an added incenting by the New York Racing Association.
Goldencents is the top weight at 120 pounds, while the mare Groupie Doll will carry 118.
Goldencents took the Dirt Mile field gate to wire over a racing strip that was kind to speed. The colt has won three of nine starts this year, winning the Sham (G3) back in January and the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in March.
Groupie Doll has started just four times this year and ran second in Cigar Mile last year in her first try against the boys. She was beaten just a nose by the Todd Pletcher trained Stay Thirsty.
O’Neill will also saddle Private Zone, who will carry 118 pounds. The colt won the Vosburgh (G1) at Belmont Park on Sept. 28 but failed to fire his best in the Sprint, fading to finish 10th.
Any horse that is a Grade 1 winner will run for an enhanced purse bumped up to $750,000. Among that group will be the Todd Pletcher trained Verrazano, who was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in his last outing. He colt will carry 117 pounds. The colt won the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park in July.
Pletcher will saddle two other runners in the race including Capo Bastone, winner of the King’s Bishop (G1) in August at Saratoga. In his last outing the colt finished 13th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). The colt will tote 115 pounds on Saturday.
Pletcher’s Forty Tales will carry 115 pounds and is coming off a runner up finish in the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park on Oct. 26. The colt has won four of nine starts this year including taking the Woody Stephens and Amsterdam, both Grade 2 races.
Flat Out, winner of the 2011 and 2012 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) is the second top weight at 119 pounds. The Bill Mott trainee ran a disappointing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in his last outing.
Laugh Track is another runner that competed in the Breeders’ Cup. The Mark Casse trainee was beaten just a neck in the Sprint (G1). His effort was just his second on conventional dirt and will carry 116 pounds.
Clearly Now will come into the race off a sharp win in the Bold Ruler Handicap. Trained by Bryan Lynch, the three-year-old colt will carry 115 pounds.
First race post time is noon for Saturday’s 10-race card, which includes the Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen for two-year-olds; the Grade 2, $400,000 Demoiselle for two-year-old fillies, and the Grade 3, $400,000 Comely for three-year-old fillies.