2021 Cigar Mile: See posts, jockeys, field of 8

2021 Cigar Mile: See posts, jockeys, field of 8
Photo: Benoit Photo

It has been 18 years since a true shipper, a horse from somewhere other than the Northeast, has won the Cigar Mile Handicap. Ginóbili could be the horse who bucks that trend Saturday at Aqueduct.

Based in Southern California, the 4-year-old Munnings gelding drew post 6 in a field of eight and will carry the top weight of 122 pounds in New York’s last Grade 1 race of 2021.

Trainer Richard Baltas has called on Drayden Van Dyke to keep the ride on Ginóbili, who finished a distant second to Life Is Good last month in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar. That was also where Ginóbili earned his last win, Aug. 28 in the Pat O’Brien (G2).

Congaree, who won in 2002 and 2003 for Bob Baffert, was the last true shipper to win the Cigar Mile.

A two-time Grade 1 winner in 2019, 5-year-old Code of Honor drew post 4 and was assigned 120 pounds. Tyler Gaffalione will ride him again for trainer Shug McGaughey. The Noble Mission horse finished a distant second Oct. 30 in a sloppy running of the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland.

Independence Hall, who won the Fayette, was drawn into post 5 and will carry 121 pounds. Trained by Michael McCarthy and ridden by Javier Castellano, the 4-year-old Constitution colt will make his first start on the East Coast since a COVID shutdown in New York led to his move out of Mike Trombetta’s stable.

After finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, 3-year-old colt Following Sea will go from stall 1 in his second race going at least a mile. The Vosburgh (G2) winner by Runhappy was promoted to second after finishing 18 1/4 lengths up the track in the Haskell (G1) in July at Monmouth Park. John Velázquez rides for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Americanrevolution, a 3-year-old Constitution colt also trained by Pletcher, starts from post 3. He is 4-for-4 against state-bred rivals in New York. He lost his other two starts, including a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) in September. Luis Sáez keeps the ride and accounts for most of the 117 pounds Americanrevolution will carry.

Going around one turn, the $750,000 Cigar Mile is one of four graded stakes on Saturday’s card at Aqueduct. It is the tenth race on the card, with a post time of 4:13 p.m. EST. The first post time is 11:50 a.m.

2021 Cigar Mile (G1)

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