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Led by a wide-open 12-horse field in the $500,000 Cigar Mile, and numerous Kentucky Derby hopefuls running in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes, New York will serve up its final huge day of racing of the calendar year on Saturday at the Big A.
Supported by the female counterparts to the two big male races, good horses will be the norm on Saturday at Aqueduct. The Grade 2 Demoiselle and the Grade 3 Go For Wand round out an excellent day of racing, with plenty of wagering opportunities. Without further ado, let’s get right into the big card and my favorite wagers of the day.
Led by Everso Mischievous, Dr Ardito, and Accretive, the top three finishers in last month’s Grade 2 Forty Niner Stakes, a wide-open field of 12 have been entered in Saturday’s Grade 2 Cigar Mile on the main track at Aqueduct.
A 3-year-old son of Into Mischief, Everso Mischievous could go off the favorite considering his determined half-length victory five weeks ago. It was the second straight stakes win for the late-developing Brad Cox-trainee. Overall, he has four wins and two seconds in a six-race career which only began in February.
Both just a half-length behind the winner of the Forty Niner, both Dr Ardito and Accretive rate a big shot to turn the tables in the Grade 2 affair on Saturday. Both are trained by Chad Brown and finished just a nose apart in the last one. Dr Ardito is a late-running New York-bred who has won 7-of-12 overall. Accretive, meanwhile, was the race favorite last time and has come close in a trio of graded stakes.
Another one to strongly consider on Saturday is the West Coast invader, Senor Buscador. A four-time stakes winner, he exits a mid-pack finish last out in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. A Grade 2 winner at Del Mar this summer, the late runner should enjoy the cutback in distance. He also should appreciate a solid early pace to set up the table for his late run. He is the top pick
$20 Win & Place - Senor Buscador = $40
As wide open as the field for the Cigar Mile might be, picking a winner in the Remsen could be even more difficult. Dornoch, a full brother to the Kentucky Derby winner Mage, and an impressive winner of a Keeneland maiden race last out, could be the tepid choice in a solid field of ten Kentucky Derby hopefuls.
Trainer Chad Brown will be well represented, as usual, in the 9-furlong race. He’ll send out two in the Remsen and both are in with a shot. Domestic Spending rebounded from a disappointing debut to romp home in a recent Aqueduct maiden race. Sierra Leone brought the big sum of $2.3 million as a yearling and responded with a debut victory over the track four weeks ago.
In the local prep, the Rick Dutrow, Jr.-trained Where’s Chris made a nice impression with a three-quarter-length win in the one-mile Nashua Stakes. It was the second victory in three career starts for the Twirling Candy colt.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Moonlight is yet another who merits strong consideration. Having just missed in his career debut on the turf, he moved to dirt to romp in an Aqueduct maiden race, before finishing second in the Grade 3 Street Sense at Churchill Downs. He is the top pick.
$10 Exacta Part Wheel - Moonlight over Domestic Product, Dornoch, and Sierra Leone = $30
$10 Exacta Part Wheel - Domestic Product, Dornoch, and Sierra Leone over Moonlight = $30
The female counterpart to the Remsen, the Grade 2 Demoiselle has attracted a field of nine juvenile fillies. Leading the way in the 9-furlong test for Kentucky Oaks hopefuls will be the Todd Pletcher-trained Life Talk.
Although the daughter of Gun Runner has won only once in four starts, she has proven herself with a pair of solid efforts in Grade 1 company. She finished behind Just F Y I in both the Frizette and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies but was competitive in both. Given a bit of a class break here, she could be tough to beat.
Shimmering Allure has come to hand of late for trainer Kenny McPeek. It took her four tries and a little more distance for her to break her maiden, but the easy win at Churchill Downs was followed up with a couple of good efforts in stakes company. She finished fourth in the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland two starts back and then rolled home an easy winner in Aqueduct’s Tempted Stakes last month.
Another to watch in the Demoiselle is the Danny Gargan-trained Ringy Dingy. A winner at Aqueduct in her second career start, the daughter of Dialed In went out of town last time to romp home in a minor stakes race at Delaware Park.
I do like the race over the track by Shimmering Allure best, though, and she will be the top pick.
$20 Exacta Box - Shimmering Allure and Life Talk = $40
$10 Exacta Box - Shimmering Allure and Most of All = $20
In the female counterpart to the Cigar Mile, trainer Chad Brown holds a strong pair as he goes after victory in this one-mile, Grade 3 race for fillies and mares.
Good Sam looked to be a budding star last fall with two impressive victories at Aqueduct to begin her racing career. The daughter of Good Samaritan was not seen again for some time, however. After a seven-month layoff, she returned with a pair of second-place finishes in sharp allowance races, before winning easily last time. This will be her graded stakes debut.
Her stablemate Gerrymander is a Grade 2 winning older filly, looking to return to top form. Last out, she faced only one rival in the taken off-the-turf Noble Damsel Stakes. She won that one-mile race at Aqueduct by 25 lengths.
Among the challengers to the Brown pair will be the defending race champion Dr B. Trained by Butch Reid, Jr. the 5-year-old Liam’s Map has yet to win this year, but has faced top competition in each of her five starts. A slight class drop in here will make her a serious contender on Saturday.
Still, it’s hard to overlook Good Sam in this one. Perfect in three starts over the track, she looks to be another very good horse developing for her Eclipse Award-winning trainer. She is the top pick.
$10 Trifecta Key - Good Sam over Dr B, Gerrymander, and Tizzy in the Sky = $60
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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