Image for Brian Zipse Brian Zipse - December 1, 2022

Cigar Mile Predictions: Mind Control is a Four-time Stakes Winner at Aqueduct

Cigar Mile Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct!

PP

Horse

Odds

Jockey

Trainer

1

DOUBLE CROWN

10/1
BET HERE

J D Acosta

N Cash

2

ZANDON

7/5
BET HERE 

J Rosario

C Brown

3

WHITE ABARRIO

7/2
BET HERE 

I Ortiz Jr

S Joseph Jr

4

GET HER NUMBER

6/1
BET HERE 

L Saez

P Miller

5

O BESOS - Scratched




6

OUTLIER

20/1
BET HERE 

L Batista

N Cash

7

MIND CONTROL

5/2
BET HERE 

J Velazquez

T Pletcher

*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.

Cigar Mile Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$10 Trifecta Part Wheel - Mind Control over Zandon over Get Her Number, White Abarrio and Double Crown = $30

$10 Trifecta Part Wheel - Mind Control over Get Her Number, White Abarrio and Double Crown over Zandon = $30

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Mind Control (5/2)

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Cigar Mile Predictions

A Grade 1 winner on the road to this year’s Kentucky Derby, Zandon looks for his first win since April when he tops a field of seven entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct. 

Trained by Chad Brown, Zandon earned his lone stakes win in the Blue Grass at Keeneland, before a series of second and third-place finishes in the Kentucky Derby, Jim Dandy, Travers and Pennsylvania Derby.

Away since a runner-up finish behind Taiba in the Pennsylvania Derby, the 3-year-old son of Upstart returns to Aqueduct for the first time since one year ago when he was beaten a nose in the Remsen Stakes by Mo Donegal. 

Chief among his challengers in the $750,000 Cigar Mile will be the multiple Grade 1 winner Mind Control. A 6-year-old son of Stay Thirsty is a four-time stakes winner at Aqueduct. 

Placed first in the Parx Dirt Mile last time after just missing on the wire, the Todd Pletcher trainee was a hard-fought winner of the Grade 3 Salvator Mile three starts back over the multi-millionaire Hot Rod Charlie. 

The other 3-year-old in the field is White Abarrio, who is also a Grade 1 winner. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. the son of Race Day won two stakes races early this year including the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

Cigar Mile Predictions and Race Analysis

Zandon

The classiest horse in the race will look for his first victory since rolling home in the Grade 1 Blue Grass back in April at Keeneland. Since then he has run well in every race while keeping top company without breaking through with another big win. 

This will be the lightest field he has faced since winning at Keeneland, but it will also be his first start at only one turn since his career debut 14 months ago. More early speed in here would help his chances at the shorter distance, but he may be able to win on class alone. 

He is the deserving favorite, but I am going to take a shot with another who is well-proven at the one-mile trip.

Mind Control

A winner of 11 races and nearly $1.8 million in his career, this experienced son of Stay Thirsty will look to go out a winner in this late season Grade 1. There are plenty of signs that his last race could be one of his biggest career victories. 

Both the one-mile trip and the Aqueduct main track are clearly in his favor. He has won four out of five career races at his favorite distance, and he has already won four stakes races at the Big A. 

Perhaps most importantly, though, the Todd Pletcher-trained veteran has found a small field without much speed. This should give him every opportunity to get to the lead. From there, he has proven many times to be a very tough horse to pass. He is the top pick.

White Abarrio

This accomplished sophomore will need to find his best form again if he is to win on Saturday. After wins in the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Grade 1 Florida Derby, he has not looked like the same horse since finishing way back in the Kentucky Derby. 

He was second in the Ohio Derby, but that came against a little lighter competition than he will see here. Most recently he faded to fifth in the Pennsylvania Derby well behind Zandon. 

On the positive, he does pick up leading rider Irad Ortiz Jr. and should be forwardly placed in a race without much speed. He should be in contention at the head of the stretch, but I do like the top ones better.

Get Her Number

This California shipper seems to have found his best form again after becoming a Grade 1 winner back in his juvenile season. First or second in three of his last four outings, he was second in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar three starts back. 

After a disappointing effort in another graded stakes race at Del Mar, he came back 13 days ago to win a sharp allowance sprint over some very good graded stakes winners. 

That recent win points out his good form and if he can stretch out to the one-turn mile he rates a real shot as he runs in New York for the first time.

Double Crown

The first of two trained and owned by Norm Cash, this 5-year-old son of Bourbon Courage comes into Saturday’s Grade 1 affair off a career-best effort. It came five weeks ago when he outfinished the heavily favored Baby Yoda to win the Grade 2 Kelso over the Aqueduct main track. 

While it came as a serious upset, this gelding has plenty of stakes experience and seems well suited for the one-mile distance.

Like the last one, it would be a surprise to see him in the winner’s circle again, but a repeat of that effort puts him in at least with a fighting chance and a viable candidate to use underneath in the exotics.

Outlier

The second from the barn of Norm Cash, this former claimer comes into the Cigar Mile off three consecutive second-place finishes, including one at Aqueduct two starts back. All three came at a much lower level than he will find on Saturday, though. 

In fact, this son of Not This Time has never before run in a stakes race in a career that has already seen 40 career races. While he looks to be in career best form, it’s hard to love his chances against this level.

O Besos

Has been scratched and will not run.

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How to Watch the Cigar Mile

  • What: Cigar Mile (Grade 1)
  • Location: Aqueduct
  • Time: Saturday, December  -- 3:43 pm Eastern time
  • How to Watch: Fox Sports 
  • Purse: $750,000
Image for Brian Zipse

AUTHOR

Brian Zipse

225 Articles

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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