Happy Cigar Mile Day! 

There are four graded stakes at Aqueduct today headlined by the Cigar Mile which is the last of thirty-six Grade 1 races run in New York this year.  It honors the magnificent Cigar who won this race when it was known as the “NYRA Mile”. 

The Remsen is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series and the top five finishers will be awarded Derby points (10-4-3-2-1).  This race is the first Derby prep to go nine furlongs. You will have to wait until the Withers in February for the next Derby prep to go as far. 

Race 7 The Remsen – Grade II 

One Mile and a Furlong on the Dirt for Two Year Olds   

This race has been won by some very, very good horses. In the past ten years alone winners have included Mo Donegal, Catholic Boy, Mohaymen and Honor Code. Going back further winners include Go For Gin, Java Gold, Northern Dancer, and Damascus.  Not too shabby. 

  1. Il Miracolo: Broke his maiden last out in his fourth start (70 Beyer) at Gulfstream with a change of tactics that saw him go straight to the lead and he took them all the way. Attracts Castellano for the mount.  Trainer Stat: Antonio Sano is 1/36 in dirt route graded stakes over the past five years. Passing.
  2. Tuskegee Airmen: Street Sense colt is two for two with a win in an overnight stakes at Delaware Park last out as the 1/2 favorite (84 Beyer) going a two turn mile. Both efforts were stalk and pounce jobs and he did his best running late.  John Servis ships this colt in from Parx where he has been working forwardly to try graded stakes company. Gets the acid test today.
  3. Prove Right: Last out he got to the lead in the Nashua Stakes over this track but couldn’t hang on in the last sixteenth finishing third (65 Beyer). That change in running style seemed to help but he needs to get nine furlongs today. Has to be much faster in his ninth career start. Looking elsewhere.
  4. Arctic Arrogance: Broman homebred by Frosted  has been competing in NYS state bred ranks while finishing second in the Bertram Bongard (73 Beyer) and winning the Sleepy Hollow (80 Beyer). Likes to be up or on the pace.  Goes two turns and against open company for the first time. Has a win over the track in off conditions which he may face again today. Speed figs are right there. Bullet work at Belmont in advance of this race. The Pick.
  5. Midnight Trouble: Second to Tuskegee Airmen last out in the Rocky Run at Delaware Park (78 Beyer) but has never been off the board in six starts at Delaware Park. Has shown steady improvement all year but faces tougher today. Needs a step forward in his seventh career effort – but his first start for Peter Walder. Does he want more distance? Not today.
  6. Quick to Accuse: Last out he ran second in the state bred Sleepy Hollow Stakes (72 Beyer) behind Arctic Arrogance where he chased the pace but couldn’t reel in the winner. Broke his maiden two back going the flat mile against state bred company at the Big A and seemed to love being up front – but it will be tough to get out ahead of this group. Minor award candidate.
  7. Dubyuhnell: Broke his maiden last out in an off turf affair on a sloppy sealed surface at the Big A last out (66 Beyer) where he was wide the whole way but gained as they turned for home, and kicked in at the eighth pole to win comfortably. Extra furlong should suit. Should be coming from off the pace.  Has been freshened since that maiden win in early October. Picks up a piece.

Picks 4-7-2-6 

Race 9 The Cigar Mile – Grade I 

One Mile on the Dirt, For Three Year Olds and Upward 

  1. Double Crown: Won the Kelso last out (89 Beyer) at 42-1 off a seven day layoff.  He sat off the pace and chased down Baby Yoda in the last fifty yards.  He’ll likely have to pass them all again in the stretch. Not sure he will have enough to get ‘em all. Will lightning strike again for Lynn Cash? Not likely. Can fill out supers and trifectas. 
  2. Zandon: Was a good second in the Pennsylvania Derby (103 Beyer) behind Taiba for Chad Brown where he closed from the clouds. Hasn’t won since the Blue Grass last Spring but has run behind Epicenter multiple times.  Turns back to a one turn mile for the first time today.  He likes to drop back and make one run, but he can stay closer as shown by his Jim Dandy. The Pick.
  3. White Abarrio: Saffie Joseph ships this runner who is four for four at Gulfstream and zero for five elsewhere. Last time he went to the lead at Parx but couldn’t handle Taiba and Zandon in the stretch and gave way. Was in fine form last winter when he won the Holy Bull and Florida Derby. But that seems like a long time ago. The best he has performed since that point was a second place finish in the Ohio Derby where he couldn’t run down Tawny Port. Needs to prove it away from South Florida base. Lean against.
  4. Get Her Number: Won a high end optional claiming race two weeks ago at Del Mar (100 Beyer) and ships cross country for a quick turnaround for Peter Miller. Has been sprinting recently but did go longer when he on the Derby trail as a three year old.  Has two triple digit Beyers – and has won going longer. Dangerous.
  5. O Besos: Was reported as a scratch on Wednesday shortly after the draw when NYRA announced it was not taking entries from horses stabled at Churchill Downs.
  6. Outlier: Lynn Cash ships this one in from Laurel where he has been working since a second place finish at Charles Town going six and half panels two weeks ago. Ran well at the Big A two back in a career best speed fig performance. Has run nineteen times in 2022 and has hit the board eight times against lesser competition. Demand a big price.
  7. Mind Control: Last out he won the Parx Mile via DQ in early September for Pletcher (100 Beyer) and is now four for five at the mile distance. All three of his triple digit Beyers are at a mile – but those were all two turn miles. Game horse who will fight all the way to the wire as he showed in the Salvator Mile where he fought off Hot Rod Charlie for the win (104 Beyer). Win candidate.

Picks 2-7-4-1