Cigar Mile Handicap 2015 at Aqueduct

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap comes our way this Saturday, November 28 from Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York. Horses three years old and upward will take to Aqueduct's dirt track and go one mile searching for the winner's share of the nice $500,00 purse.

A field of seven will take to the track in the Cigar Mile - race 9 on Aqueduct's Saturday schedule. Post time is 3: PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all seven entries for this Grade 1 stakes - the centerpiece of the Aqueduct fall meet.

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2015 Cigar Mile Handicap Race Favorites

Private Zone 6-5 - defending five lengths champion in this race when he posted a 110 Beyer Speed Figure (he finished second in the 2013 edition) - multiple graded stakes winning newly Brian Lynch trained gelding has placed in nine straight races ahead of this weekend. Last time out was a good second to Runhappy in the Breeders' Cup Sprint after two straight wins - the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 29 and the Grade 3 Belmont Sprint Championship July 4 and a third in the Grade 1 Met Mile in June. He also had a won the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes in May. Private Zone has been terrific the last 14 months and is expected to be in the mix again Saturday. He has 10 wins, nine seconds and three third place finishes in 31 career starts and hopes to keep the impressive run going from the outside post 7 with Martin Pedroza aboard the morning line favorite.

Tonalist 2-1 - Christophe Clement trained colt has placed in 12 of 15 career starts - six wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. Last time out was a disappointing fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic after a good win in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup October 3, a third in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes August 8 and consecutive seconds - the Grade 2 Suburban Stakes in July and the Grade 1 Met Mile in June. He won the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes at this distance before that. Tonalist had placed in five straight races including two wins before the fifth last time out and will be out to avenge his worst effort in a year Saturday from post 5 with John Velazquez guiding him.

Cigar Mile Handicap 2015 | Remaining Contenders

Matrooh 6-1 - Chad Brown trained gelding has won three of his last four starts ahead of this race - the best of which coming last time out in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park October 31 with an impressive 105 Beyer Speed Figure. Before that was a sixth in the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes August 30 and two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores at Belmont Park. He looks for his second straight graded stakes score Saturday from gate 4. Irad Ortiz rides.

Red Vine 8-1 - Christophe Clement pupil has placed in nine straight starts ahead of this weekend. Last time out was a third in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile which followed a second in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap October 3, a third in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 22, a second in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile in July and three straight wins - the best of which was the minor Majestic Light Stakes in May. Red Vine now has five wins, seven seconds and six third place finishes in 20 career starts - competitive every time out. He looks for his first graded stakes score Saturday and has been knocking on the door. Joel Rosario will be in the saddle from post 3 hoping to accomplish that goal.

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Mshawish 10-1 - Todd Pletcher pupil has 20 career starts with six wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He had a three race win streak at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 including the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park in January and the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf in February. He has just three starts since - an OK fourth last time out in Breeders' Cup Mile followed a fifth in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap in August and a very good third in the UAE Derby at Meydan in March. Mshawish looks to snap a three race losing streak and to return to the form he had at the beginning of the year. Javier Castellano has been tabbed to ride from gate 2 in Mshawish's first start on dirt.

Marking 15-1 - Kiaran McLaughlin trained three year old colt will hit the track for just the third time Saturday looking to remain perfect. He has two career starts and two wins. He makes his stakes debut off a one mile Allowance score by 5 1/2 lengths on this track November 4 after a maiden score at first asking - at Belmont Park September 23. Jose Ortiz has been tabbed to ride Saturday from the rail.

Full of Mine 50-1 - has just one win, three seconds and a third place finish in 10 career starts. Last time out was a third in his stakes debut - the minor Empire Classic at Belmont Park October 24 after a maiden score on that track October 2 in his ninth career starts and a fifth in a MSW in September. Full of Mine races in graded stakes company for the first time Saturday and look as if he is in over his head. Israel Rodriguez gets the call aboard the longest shot in the field from gate 6.


2015 Cigar Mile Handicap Entries & Odds

Race 9 on Aqueduct's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:50 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Marking Jose Ortiz Kiaran McLaughlin
15-1
2 Mshawish Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher
10-1
3 Red Vine Joel Rosario Christophe Clement
8-1
4 Matrooh Irad Ortiz, Jr. Chad Brown
6-1
5 Tonalist John Velazquez Christophe Clement
2-1
6 Full of Mine Israel Rodriguez Naipaul Chatterpaul
50-1
7 Private Zone Martin Pedroza Brian Lynch
6-5

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