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"Todd Squad" Complete Cigar Mile Preparations

Pletcher 615 X 400 Toga
Trainer Todd Pletcher's trio of contenders for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap took to Belmont Park's training track this morning in their final serious moves for next Saturday's race.


Working in company with Galloping Giraffe, Forty Tales was clocked in 49.10 seconds shortly after the first renovation break at 8 a.m. Capo Bastone and Verrazano went together after the second break, with Capo Bastone caught in 48.87 and Verrazano, under jockey Javier Castellano, timed in 48.86.


Pletcher also sent Grade 3 Tempted winner Stopchargingmaria out for an easy four-furlong move in 50.33 in preparation for the Grade 2 Demoiselle on the Cigar Mile undercard.


"I thought Forty Tales was good this morning," said Pletcher of the Tale of the Cat colt, runner-up to fellow Cigar Mile hopeful Clearly Now in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap. "He's normally not a horse that works real fast, but he seemed enthusiastic out there this morning, and happy.


"I thought Verrazano and Capo Bastone put in their typical 48 and change half," he added. "Both seemed relaxed, happy, and are doing well."


The dual-Grade 1 winning Verrazano, who took the Big A's Wood Memorial and the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth earlier this year, enters the Cigar Mile off a fourth-place finish behind Cigar Mile contender Goldencents in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Capo Bastone, winner of the Grade 1 Foxwoods King's Bishop, most recently was13th in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.




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