What we learned: Americanrevolution's Cigar Mile

What we learned: Americanrevolution's Cigar Mile
Photo: NYRA

Americanrevolution won the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct Saturday, earning his first Grade 1 stakes win in a workman-like manner. In contrast to his wins over New York-breds, the 3-year-old colt needed to work hard to get up in time against open company. But in terms of speed figures, he still ran a fast race.

The first part of Americanrevolution’s trip was not ideal, but he had clear sailing in the end and still had trouble putting his opponents away.

For the first half-mile, Americanrevolution traveled in an awkward spot. He settled behind the leaders Following Sea and Ginobili while sandwiched between Plainsman and Olympiad. Only three lengths separated the field.

As stated before, a bunched-up field hints at a slow pace.

Then again, the fractions alone did not seem too slow at a glance. Following Sea led though an opening quarter in 23.19 seconds and half in 46.04, which are moderate numbers for an open company Grade 1 race.

On the turn, Luis Saez went to work on Americanrevolution and even started to use the whip before they hit the top of the stretch. Saez’s persistence paid off, as Americanrevolution began to inch closer and move outside to set up a clear run. Following Sea and Ginobili still battled in front.

Americanrevolution then experienced trouble in the stretch. While Americanrevolution traveled outside of Ginobili, Plainsman tried to shift out and fit into a hole that did not exist between those two runners. In the process, Plainsman bumped Americanrevolution. But it did not affect Americanrevolution, as he continued to fight and move forward.

When Following Sea attempted to separate from the group, Americanrevolution went after him for one last run. Americanrevolution needed every bit of Saez’s encouragement to pass Following Sea for the win. Nevertheless, Americanrevolution reached the front in time to win by half a length. 

Americanrevolution finished the one mile in 1:36.88, which was slower than Lady Rocket’s time of 1:36.52 in the Go For Wand Stakes (G3) earlier.

Without reviewing speed figures or other numbers, Americanrevolution did not look very impressive in his Cigar Mile win. The stick came out early and he gave everything he had to beat his stablemate Following Sea, who was questionable to handle a mile.

It also felt like they were slowing significantly in the stretch run.

But on speed figures alone, Americanrevolution still posted fast numbers. He earned a 128 TimeformUS Speed Figure, which puts him in the mix of top dirt routers. His 104 Beyer Speed Figure for the win is a good speed figure too. As stated before, there is approximately a 20 point scale difference between Beyer figures and TimeformUS. 

Yet, Lady Rocket ran faster than Americanrevolution based on raw times and the 106 Beyer Speed Figure she earned for the Go For Wand. Maybe Lady Rocket turned in an exceptional effort. Sometimes females can run faster than males without the feat being a knock on the males.

Another factor to consider is the one-mile distance. Two of Americanrevolution’s four wins before the Cigar Mile came in nine-furlong races. One of the wins came in a 1 1/16-mile race. On visuals alone, Americanrevolution moves more like a longer router.

Americanrevolution turned in a good effort to win the Cigar Mile in only his second Grade 1 attempt in seven starts.

With that said, expect Americanrevolution to run better at nine furlongs or longer when he returns next year. It sounds like Americanrevolution might receive a similar schedule to Happy Saver and return in the summer, which puts the Suburban Stakes (G2) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) in play. 

If all goes well, look for Americanrevolution to peak in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Mo Donegal saves ground in Remsen win

Earlier in the card, Mo Donegal took advantage of a ground-saving trip to get the job done over Zandon in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct. In the stretch battle with Zandon, he also received an aggressive ride late. Some observers might argue it was too aggressive.

Watch as Mo Donegal under Irad Ortiz Jr. saved ground on the first turn.

While traveling behind the leaders on the far side, Mo Donegal handled dirt in his face well and saved ground again at the beginning of the second turn.

As Fromanothamutha faded, Mo Donegal gave him room on the inside before the turn ended and then tipped outside of the wall of horses in front. Once Mo Donegal got a clear shot on the outside, he rallied to the front.

Zandon under John Velazquez did not give up and moved forward as well. Mo Donegal and Zandon battled close together toward the wire, with Mo Donegal barely prevailing over Zandon.  

There is a fair argument that Ortiz made the space between the two horses too close. Mo Donegal came in and makes it very tight on Zandon and Velazquez on the rail. At one point, it even appeared that Ortiz made contact with Zandon’s face.

Look at this Twitter photo below. 

Even if not intentional, it does seem like Ortiz hit Zandon. 

In any case, Mo Donegal earned a 104 TimeformUS Speed Figure and 89 Beyer Speed Figure. Thanks to a ground-saving trip, he prevailed in this part of the journey to Churchill Downs, but the trail remains long.

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.

Top Stories

Knicks Go  drew the rail Tuesday, and Life Is Good...
The New York Racing Association spent the second d...
New York The jury in the federal horse-doping tria...
The bulk of the anticipation for the Todd Pletcher...
For three weeks running to start 2022, the number...