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Breeders' Cup 2017

Godolphin Pair Work for Cigar Mile

Girolamo and Vineyard Haven turned in separate five-furlong workouts over the Belmont Park training track Sunday morning as they gear up for next Saturday’s Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap, one of four graded stakes to be offered that day at Aqueduct Racetrack.

 

Breezing for the first time following disappointing efforts in the Breeders’ Cup, Girolamo and Vineyard Haven covered the distance in 59.67 and 59.40, respectively.

 

Rick Mettee, assistant to Godolphin Racing’s trainer Saeed bin Suroor, is hopeful both horses will have better fortune in the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile than in the Breeders’ Cup, where Girolamo was 11th in the Sprint and Vineyard Haven was sixth in the Dirt Mile.

 

“Girolamo got an inside draw in a big field, and I don’t think he is the kind of horse who is sharp enough to stalk a 44-and-change pace,” said Mettee. “I think he has 45-and-change speed. Hopefully the mile will suit him a little better.

 

“Vineyard Haven was drawn outside and stalked a very fast pace. It looked like for a brief second he’d be there turning for home, but then he faded a little bit. Zito’s horse [Morning Line] was able to hang in there and finish second, but everybody else faltered in the last furlong. It looks like, on paper, that there isn’t a tremendous amount of speed going in the Cigar Mile, and he’s another one who should pull a better trip.”

 

Also on the worktab for Godolphin this weekend was Sara Louise, who earned a bullet for her 47.03 four-furlong breeze at Belmont on Saturday as part of her preparations for a title defense in Friday’s Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap, for which she was made the 5-2 morning-line favorite.

 

 

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