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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Flat Out Proves Best in the Cigar Mile

 
The seven year-old Flat Out defeated one of the strongest fields ever assembled in the Cigar Mile. The win was the ninth of his career and pushed his earnings to well over $3.5 million.
 
Flat Out now as won two graded stakes at a flat mile distance to go with his two wins in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at a mile and a quarter. Owner Art Preston said it best, “It’s amazing that he has this kind of speed along with the stamina.”
 
In its history the Cigar Mile has never been won by a Breeders’ winner and so that trend continued this year when Groupie Doll finished fourth and Goldencents came in seventh.
 
Jockey Rajiv Maragh was not happy with the trip he had on Groupie Doll, "The No. 3 horse [Clearly Now] clipped heels and stumbled right in front of me and almost unseated the jockey at the quarter pole. Before that we were in perfect position and running really good. I had to alter my course and by the time I got her running again it cost us a lot."
 
Trainer Doug O’ Neill was disappointed with performance of Goldencents, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, “We've got to try to dissect [Goldencents' performance]. [Jockey Rafael Bejarano] said [Saratoga Snacks] kind of stumbled and almost came over in front of Goldencents. After that, he thought he had him in a good spot, but just didn't kick on like we had hoped. No real excuse, just trying to figure it all out.”
 
As a grade one winner Flat Out ran for a $750,000 purse, which included the extra $250,000 incentive offered by NYRA. Flat Out had run eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Trainer Bill Mott was happy to bring him right back in the Cigar Mile. Mott said, “He didn’t run his top race in the Breeders’ Cup, but he came out of it in good order. We felt he’d probably be well suited for this race. This came up a very tough race.  What they did with the bonuses putting it on here. You’ve got with the Breeders’ Cup winners and the Grade one winners in here. It turned out to be quite a year-end event.”
 
During the race Flat Out settled in mid-pack as Private Zone set some speedy fractions [22.59, 45.39, 1:09.79] on a track that produced some rather slow times in the other stakes. As they turned for home Flat Out was sitting behind Verrazano, who eventually finished third, waiting for the chance to make his move. When asked Flat Out accelerated to win by 1¼ lengths, paying $15.00 to win. Private Zone held on gamely to finish second.
 
Bill Mott summed up Flat Out’s performance by saying, "This horse, I can't say enough about him. He's just been a real tough, durable horse, a horse that I've always felt may be as good at a flat mile as he is at 10 furlongs. Although he has won the Jockey Club Gold Cup twice at 10 furlongs, [he's] versatile enough to get up and get the job done at a mile." 

 

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Older Comments about Flat Out Proves Best in the Cigar Mile...

That was an awesome race. I was very impressed with Private Zone's effort. Wished Goldencents and Groupie Doll couldve ran better.
He's easily favorite horse in training. Win or lose he dances every dance.
Just saw it. Flat Out showed them how it's done! Great Run. They could've gone another lap and no one would've passed him. The Doll put in a good showing also, considering she got a little boxed-in. I LOVE hearing Tom Durkin call the races. "The FORMIDABLE Flat Out!"
The video is in that article too.
Awesome story of the SS household. Very Nice. :) Thanks for the link. Very good article about the race.
The screaming began the second Will made his move in the stretch and didn't stop until those boys hit the line together. We applauded both their effort. My son was clapping too. On Sat my house was absolutely rocking when they came around the far turn. I knew my guy was loaded and ready to make his bid. I cried, hollered, and jumped up and down the entire stretch drive. My son joined in. I cried him all the way to the winners circle.... http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/82229/old-pro-flat-out-powers-home-in-cigar-mile
I haven't had the chance to see the Cigar yet, looking forward to it. I tell you what, I don't think I've yelled so hard in my life as I did for Will coming down the lane. Was glad to see The Dude run well also.
Oh yes Jay, I most certainly am!
How 'bout Flat Out!?! Awesome! SSilence, you gotta be on Cloud 9!
Love Flat Out! Hope he is going to be retired now though! He has done enough! :-)
Johnnie, more than happy to meet up at AQU. The Jerome, WIthers, Gotham, Wood are coming up on the Derby Trail.
Hey Matt I was looking for you from the comfort of my home. Hope you had a good day. I had Flat Out and it filled my pot for a little while. I want to hook up with you at the Big A after the first of the year so you can show me around.
Happy for flat out. I love him and love that he's great for the sport
I loved the "speed and stamina" description, a pretty dangerous combination.
Seven years old and still going strong ... gotta love him!

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

 

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