Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Cigar Mile will go this Saturday, November 24 from Aqueduct in the great state of New York. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they go one mile on Aqueduct's dirt track for a nice $350,000 purse.
A very strong group of seven will line up in the Cigar Mile which is race 8 on Aqueduct's Saturday schedule. Post time is 3:20 PM. Here is a look at all seven combatants and what brought them to this lucrative Grade 1 race.
2012 Cigar Mile Handicap Race Favorites
Groupie Doll - has been one of the best female sprinters around this year placing in all eight of her starts in 2012 including the biggest win of her career last time out in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. She enters as arguably the hottest horses around with five straight graded stakes wins - the Breeders' Cup, a 7 1/4 length win in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff in record time, the Grade 1 Vinery Madison Stakes at Keeneland before that, in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters September 8 and in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes October 6 at Keeneland. Trainer William Bradley has his possible Horse of the Year pupil in peak form - Groupie Doll is going to be tough to beat even though she is up against males this weekend.
Coil - Bob Baffert trained multiple Grade 1 winner has two wins and a second in four starts this year - wins include an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar on July 26 and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship two back. The second place finish was at the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes August 26. Last time out was a disappointing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Coil was terrific in 2011 recording wins in the Grade 3 Affirmed and the Grade 1 Haskell and finishing second in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes so we know that he has what it takes to be competitive.
Cigar Mile Handicap 2012 | Remaining Field Entries
Jersey Town - finished fifth most recently in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile after a very nice win in the Grade 2 Kelso to follow a decent third in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes behind Emcee, a sixth in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt Handicap and a second in the Sir Shackleton Stakes in March. He was competitive in the Breeders' Cup and he won this race in 2010 but has been inconsistent this year.
Hymn Book - won the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in impressive fashion in February over Mission Impazible but followed that up with an uninspiring fourth in the Oaklawn Handicap on April 14. He followed that with a pedestrian fifth in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special Stakes on May 18 and then bounced back with a decent second in the Grade 2 Suburban behind Mucho Macho Man on July 7. His last two stakes appearances have been equally disappointing - a fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational and an eighth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational September 29. Last time out was a win however in the minor Frank Martin Stakes October 19 to breed a little optimism into Hymn Book, last year's runner up in the Cigar Mile.
Cigar Mile Handicap betting at Aqueduct with OffTrackBetting.com
Buffum - Has won two of his last three starts including the Grade 3 Bold Ruler last time out at Belmont Park October 27 and an Allowance Optional Claiming in May on that same track. Sandwiched in there is a sixth in the Grade 2 Suburban. Trainer Thomas Albertini hopes that Buffum can build off his impressive win last time out as he enters in some pretty decent form for his first try in Grade 1 company.
Stay Thirsty - Looked terrific last summer winning the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Travers but has struggled since. He finished a disappointing eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Classic to end 2011 and has only two second place finishes this year in four starts - in the minor Vanlandingham Stakes on May 17 and at the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes last time out behind Flat Out. He also has a pair of fifths this year - in the Grade 2 Suburban and in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga. He enters this competitive race a tad out of sorts but with reason for hope based on his second last time out.
Associate - finished third in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes to end 2011 but has mainly focused on Allowance races in 2012. In four Allowance tarts he had two wins including, a second and a third place finish before stepping up last time out and finishing a good third in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler at Belmont Park October 27.
2012 Cigar Mile Handicap Entries & Odds
Race 8 on Aqueduct's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:20 PM.
|1||Stay Thirsty||R. Dominguez||T. Pletcher|
|2||Associate||J. Velazquez||R. Dutrow, Jr.|
|3||Buffum||E. Castro||T. Albertrani|
|4||Jersey Town||J. Castellano||B. Tagg|
|5||Hymn Book||J. Rosario||C. McGaughey III|
|6||Coil||M. Garcia||B. Baffert|
|7||Groupie Doll||R. Maragh||W. Bradley|