The purse incentives
offered by NYRA for the Cigar Mile have turned the November 30th grade one stake into a battle of
Breeders’ Cup participants. The Cigar Mile offers a minimum purse of $500,000,
but Groupie Doll and Goldencents will run for a $1,000,000 purse because they
won a Breeders’ Cup race.
Winners of a grade one
stake, like Alpha, Capo Bastone, and Verrazano will be competing for a gross
purse of $750,000. Those three horses did also run in the Breeders’ Cup, but
they get their purse incentive from their grade one victories.
As an early preview of the
Cigar Mile, which is run around one turn on the Aqueduct main track, let’s do
some Breeders’ Cup trip handicapping by looking at video and reviewing the
running lines from the Daily Racing Form
and Alpha ran in this year’s Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, in which Goldencents earned a 105 Beyer Speed Figure for his
victory. Verrazano ran fourth as the beaten favorite, 7¾ lengths behind, and
Alpha finished eighth, behind by more than 13 lengths.
Watch the video of the
Dirt Mile and also read the description of their trips from the official chart.
Goldencents was hard
sent from the gate to gain a forward position, dueled outside of Broadway
Empire through the opening quarter mile, spurted clear and angled in nearing
the five eighths pole, was joined from the outside by Broadway Empire after a
half, took pressure past the three eighths marker, moved away under urging in
the lane, wandered outward a bit leaving the three sixteenths pole, was
straightened to widen a furlong out then held firm under a drive.
Verrazano, in close
pursuing between runners mid way on the first turn, was urged along chasing
down the backstretch, came five wide for the drive, drifted out a bit inside
the sixteenth pole and had a mild kick.
fidgety in the gate just prior to the start, broke slowly, lagged back, saved
ground into the lane and could not recover.
Groupie Doll, five
wide under a snug hold early, edged up four wide within herself nearing the far
turn, bid to join the leaders after a half mile, dueled three deep to the
quarter pole, took over straightening for the wire, kicked away when put to
strong urging leaving the three sixteenths marker, had her rider switch to the
left stick in the vicinity of the sixteenth pole and dug in gamely to hold off
Judy the Beauty.
In 2012 Groupie Doll finished
second in the Cigar Mile earning a 109 BSF, one point higher than the 108 she
earned winning her first BC F/M Sprint just three weeks earlier. This year
there are four weeks between the two races because Thanksgiving falls so late
in the calendar in 2013.
Here is the replay of the
Groupie Doll’s narrow defeat by Stay Thirsty in 2012 Cigar Mile followed by her
running line from the DRF race chart.
Groupie Doll sat patiently perched three wide just
off the front runners, crept up to draw alongside them leaving the midway point
on the turn, was the widest of three spinning into the stretch, got set down to
a vigorous drive, both with the whip and being hand ridden, gained a narrow lead
at the end of the furlong grounds, bobbed and weaved ever so slightly while
making her way to the wire, was in the midst of doing so when so brushed late
with the top one, dug in gamely to the end, but got denied.
Of the other three horses
that are probable for the Cigar field, Capo Bastone and Gentlemen’s Bet also ran
in a Breeders’ Cup race. Forty Tales is a multiple graded stakes winner.
Capo Bastone finished last
in the field of 13 in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at 8.8-1. His effort was
described in the DRF chart: Capo
Bastone was in good position
chasing the pace outside a rival, came out in the stretch and weakened.
Gentlemen's Bet finished
third, a length and a half behind Secret Circle, in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at
odds of 9.1-1. He does not have a grade one victory and will compete for the
$500,000 purse. Gentlemen’s Bet prompted the pace inside of Sum of the
Parts, assumed command into the turn, took pressure to the quarter pole,
spurted away inside the three sixteenths pole, was taken on a sixteenth out and
Forty Tales comes into the Cigar Mile off a second place behind Clearly Now in
the Oct. 26th Bold Ruler (G3) sprint at Belmont Park, a race in
which Clearly Now earned a 109 BSF. Earlier in the year Forty Tales won three
graded stakes in a row at distances ranging from 6½ furlongs to a mile. Forty
Tales is the only horse in the probable field that has not run in the Breeders’