Flat Out took advantage of blistering early fractions to roll past the field in the final furlong to win the Grad 1 Cigar Mile by a length and a half over Private Zone at Aqueduct. Verrazano, the third choice on the board at odds of 7/2, finished third, while Groupie Doll could do no better than fourth after a tough trip around the main track at the Big A.
Below are the payouts, fractions and internal splits from the Cigar:
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Some additional thoughts on the Cigar:
- This race was an absolute mess if you watched what was going on behind the leaders as the field rounded the far turn: Groupie Doll ran in tight quarters (just part of her awful, awful trip), Clearly Now clipped the heels of Private Zone; everywhere you looked horses were bumping into each other. Then you had the three trailers on the far turn - Capo Bastone, Saratoga Snacks and Laugh Track - that decided to go towards the grandstand as they made their way home. Just an absolute mess.
However, if you think the action on the turn was bad, check out the start of the race when Saratoga Snacks when to his knees and then in an almost synchronized manner, Capo Bastone and Goldencents break right on top of Saratoga Snacks. (Head-on replay from NYRA) I mean, good lord, Saratoga Snacks had no shot. He was a long shot to begin with, he didn't need Goldencents and Capo to pile on.
- Take a look at the trip notes from the official chart (via DRF.com), they are amusing, to say the least. I counted the use of the word "bumped" six times, along with "getting clipped", "checked", "making contact", "clipping the leader's heels", "swung five-wide", "stumbled badly", "bobbled at the start", "made contact several times" and the dreaded "drifted six to seven wide". Now THAT is a cornucopia of trip note hot words.
- What a run by runner-up Private Zone. He sets sprinter fractions in a mile race and holds on for a clear second place finish despite doing all the dirty work up front.
- Like yesterday's Clark, I was doing some head-shaking at the odds board at post time. Goldencents the favorite at 3/1? I guess somebody had to be the favorite but if you were betting on Goldencents repeating his BC Mile performance... well, I don't know what to say.
- Verrazano ran much better than his flop in the Mile but still looks like he just doesn't have that late race acceleration that he possessed earlier this year. Perhaps it's the uptick in his competition. Perhaps he's simply plateaued as a runner. Who knows.
- I thought Capo Bastone might be able to pick up the pieces if the pace were to get out of hand. I thought wrong. Besides getting involved in a three-horse pile-up while leaving the gate, Capo Bastone never got into the race and ended up a pitiful last.
- And finally, what a horrible race for Groupie Doll from start to finish; she had very little chance to run the race she's capable of given her brutal trip all the way around the track. You hate to see a race where a top-class runner has their chances negated by a bad trip.
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