Analysis: Is Americanrevolution worth a play in Cigar Mile?

Analysis: Is Americanrevolution worth a play in Cigar Mile?
Photo: Joe Labozzetta/NYRA

Horse bettors face a tough dilemma with Americanrevolution in the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct on Saturday. The potential star carries plenty of momentum, but he still lacks a graded-stakes win and the hype on him feels strong heading into the race.

Is Americanrevolution worthy of relying on, even at low odds in his second Grade 1 start, or is the hype about him not in proportion to his current ability?

Americanrevolution’s fair value depends on what the individual bettor emphasizes in handicapping, which means the final answer varies.

Is the visual impression of a horse in his last start a major part of the handicapping equation? In that case, Americanrevolution is a bet at almost any price, as he gave the impression of a horse with a future last time.

Americanrevolution won the Empire Classic Handicap at Belmont by 11 3/4 lengths

On visuals alone, it is hard not to call this an outstanding performance.

If speed figures are the most important part of race analysis, then those handicappers will find no problem in accepting a low price on Americanrevolution as well. The romping Empire Classic win resulted in an excellent 126 TimeformUS Speed Figure and 108 Beyer Speed Figure.  

Sometimes the numbers do not match what the eyes see, but in this case, Americanrevolution ran well both from a visual and figure standpoint.

And the 126 on TimeformUS is not an outlier. Rather, the 126 looks like a natural progression from his 124 and 118 for his previous races.

Assuming Americanrevolution repeats the Empire Classic figure while cutting back in distance, then he will win the Cigar Mile or come close. Unless there are unexpected monsters, none of the probable entries are going to hit 130.

If class is the most important factor of race analysis, then bettors might want to exercise caution before emptying the bank account for Americanrevolution. This is still a horse without a Grade 1 win to his credit.

In fact, all four of Americanrevolution’s wins, including the Empire Classic romp, came against New York-breds. The Cigar Mile marks only his second attempt at this level after finishing third against Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1). Americanrevolution lost by 6 3/4 lengths to Hot Rod Charlie, which is not a small margin.

Bettors also might feel hesitation after watching Midnight Bourbon fade to third in the Clark Stakes (G1) last weekend, although Midnight Bourbon is the kind of horse to finish second or third in every race.

Perhaps Americanrevolution’s third-place finish in the 3-year-old restricted Pennsylvania Derby is not enough evidence he can win a Grade 1 race against open company. Although he beat older horses in the Empire Classic, running with older horses at the Grade 1 level is a different kind of race.  

Given that Americanrevolution steps away from both 3-year-old company and New York-breds in the Cigar Mile, class handicappers might be reluctant to back this relatively inexperienced 3-year-old at low odds.  

For what it is worth, the Pennsylvania Derby sixth-place finisher, Speaker’s Corner, went on to crush allowance optional claiming foes by 6 3/4 lengths at Belmont on Oct. 29. And a few days ago, Speaker’s Corner lost by only half a length to Miles D in the local Discovery Stakes.

Given that Speaker’s Corner lost by 20 1/2 lengths to Hot Rod Charlie, those are not bad achievements to pull off in his two races after the Grade 1 attempt.

Some bettors would rather emphasize the overall win record, rather than class or speed figures. In that case, Americanrevolution’s 6: 4-0-1 record is appealing, especially since his lone trifecta miss came in his career debut last year. He ran a closing fourth and missed third by only one length.

As another note about Americanrevolution’s career debut, he lost by only four lengths to the future Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun.  

If the overall win record is important, then taking low odds on Americanrevolution is fine, given that he lost only twice in six starts. This colt loves to win races, unlike the constantly losing Midnight Bourbon.

Of course, all these factors are important. The best horse players take information from every handicapping category to make their decisions while keeping the odds in mind. Some horses are bad bets in terms of value and win, and other horses are great bets and lose.

Right now, it is too early to make a final decision on Americanrevolution. Watch this blog in the next few days for final Cigar Mile selections.

Meet Reinier Macatangay

My first time at the racetrack came as a 5-year-old kid at Santa Anita Park. For most of my younger life, that was the only track I attended other the occasional visit to Hollywood Park. 

Years later, after graduating California State University, Stanislaus with an English MA, I began writing for Lady and the Track. From late 2014-2016, my articles were seen on a weekly basis and covered handicapping, interviews with well-known racing personalities, fashion and more. 

The handicapping style I use concentrates on pace analysis. Some horses are compromised by the pace. Others are helped. Handicappers just starting out cannot easily see how pace affects the finish, so with this blog, I hope to help those unsure of how to apply pace into their handicapping and post-race analysis. 

On an unrelated note, I enjoy video games and attending anime or comic-book conventions. I am currently based in Kentucky, but spend a lot of time traveling between there and California.

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