Today for Weekend Handicapping we will go to New York and take another try at Aqueduct. We will look at the 23rd running of the Cigar Mile (G1) for 3YO and upward battling for a purse of $250,000. We have a field of six and most have battled each over the course of the season. Since we only have six horses today there will be no dark horse listed.
#3 Haynesfield ML 4/1
I’ve been a big fan of this 5YO and 2011 has been a disappointment. After a smashing 3 of 6 in 2010, we all but thought he would dominate this year, but those 2 starts in graded company were duds. He bounced back in the Empire Classic and might be finding his groove now. Three races don’t make a season, and he might not have been in shape for the Met or Westchester. Asmussen is a crafty trainer and Dominquez stays aboard. He tended to be a bouncer as a 4YO but so far his Beyer’s, while lackluster for a G1 entry, have been somewhat consistent. We know he can win, the price will be solid, but is today the day?
#5 To Honor and Serve ML 7/5
I liked this 3YO in the BC Classic, and sadly had a rough trip after getting close. He’s cutting back in distance and has the speed to go wire to wire. The price won’t be there and is probably why I put the #3 on top. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win if Mott turns him loose. Solid Beyer’s, Lezcano rides him nicely and knows how to win. Looking back, he won the Nashua (G2) going a mile wire to wire at this track, possible repeat here.
#1a Caixa Eletronica ML 5/2
If I’m forced to choose between the Pletcher entries I go with the #1a. Cali is too much of a bouncer for me, and has only won at the G3 level, so not so sure today is his day. Granted Caixa hasn’t won at this level either, but you can’t ignore the 6YO improving Beyer’s (100-99-96). Looking at the PP’s, he has had 4 races at a mile and won 3 of them. This might be his distance and Johnny V stays aboard. He will be in the mix.
#6 Sangree ML 5/1
I would call this one a soft Bombs Away, but there is a good possibility he will be the real overlay in this field. He has posted back to back 100+ Beyer’s , and has had a boat load of near missed up and down the Graded Stakes ladder. This 6YO shows he has the ability to be there at the end, the question does he have the heart to win. Maragh is doing well and stays in the irons, and maybe if he pushes to the front or closer like in the Birdstone he might win this one.
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