The Grade I, $250,000 Cigar Mile Handicap will run as Race 10 on the Dec. 5 card at Aqueduct Track.
The event for 3-year-olds and up will cover one mile and include names like Performer, Firenze Fire, and King Guillermo among the field of nine.
Here is a look at the top runners set for the Cigar Mile Handicap.
Betting Preview: Performer, Firenze Fire
The morning-line favorite coming in at 7/5 is Phipps Stable and Claiborne Farm’s Performer. The 4-year-old Speightstown colt is trained by Claude McGaughey III.
He has a career record of 5-0-1 from six starts and earnings of $295,500. In 2020, he has just one win from one start.
That one victory came in an Oct. 17 allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park, resulting in a 109 Speed Figure. To close out his 2019 season, the colt scored the Nov. 30 Discovery Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct, registering a 112 Speed Figure. Prior to that performance, he took a Sept. 29 allowance optional claiming race at Belmont.
Performer will break from Post 1 under jockey Joel Rosario.
He will be up against the 5/2 Firenze Fire, owned by Mr Amore Stable. The 5-year-old son of Poseidon’s Warrior is trained by Kelly Breen.
He is 12-3-3 from 30 career starts with earnings of $2,218,250, making him one of the more experienced runners in the field. In 2020, he has three wins and one third from seven outings.
His most recent performance was a third-place effort in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland, which followed a Sept. 26 Vosburgh Stakes (G2) win at Belmont Park. The latter resulted in a 110 Speed Figure. He also won the June 27 True North Stakes (G2) at Belmont and the Feb. 15 General George Stakes (G3) at Laurel Park.
Firenze Fire will break from Post 4 under rider Jose Lezcano.
Betting Preview: King Guillermo
Another runner to keep an eye on is the 7/2 King Guillermo, trained by Juan Carlos Avila. The 3-year-old Uncle Mo colt comes from Victoria’s Ranch.
He is 2-1-1 from five career starts with earnings of $340,350. In 2020, he has one win and one second from two outings.
Last time out, the colt took second in the May 2 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park. His other performance this year was a victory in the March 7 Lambhold South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay, where he registered a 110 Speed Figure.
King Guillermo will break from Post 6 under Jose Ortiz.
The rest of the field (post, morning line) is set to include:
- Mind Control (Post 2, 20/1)
- Snapper Sinclair (Post 3, 20/1)
- Mr. Buff (Post 5, 6/1)
- Majestic Dunhill (Post 7, 20/1)
- True Timber (Post 8, 15/1)
- Bon Raison (Post 9, 20/1)
Free Betting Pick
The Cigar Mile is setting up to be an exciting race. Substantial rain could have an impact, possibly resulting in Firenze Fire being scratched. Performer only has one stakes start in his career, which was at the Grade III level, and he drew the rail.
King Guillermo could take this one, but he will have to prove himself as he hasn’t started since May. He will go up against older horses for the first time.
Spooky Express Free Pick: King Guillermo
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