Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Among those pointing to the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap is dual Grade 1 winner Alpha, coming off an eighth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile following a slow start.
here at Belmont and we will train him that way," said Kiaran McLaughlin
of the Godolphin Racing color-bearer. "We had been looking at it even
before the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile; it was a month in between [the two
races]. That race didn't seem to take much out of him. He stepped back
right at the start and lost all chance at the start, especially with the
track being a little speed-favoring. He was last throughout and passed a
of the 2013 Woodward and 2012 Travers in a dead heat with Golden
Ticket, Alpha is 2-1-0 from three starts at the Big A, including
victories in the Count Fleet and the Grade 3 Withers and a second in the
Grade 1 Wood Memorial behind Gemologist.
a Grade 1 winner, Alpha would be competing for a $750,000 gross purse
in the Cigar Mile as one of the purse incentives announced by NYRA in
McLaughlin added that Grade 2 Nashua winner Cairo Prince came out of the race in good order and would be nominated to the Grade 2 Remsen on the Cigar Mile undercard.
don't know what we're going to do," he said. "The Nashua was impressive
for his second start, coming off a 5 ½-furlong maiden race. He had a
great post, he tracked beautifully and he swept to the lead