Some high quality racing today but the prize for “meet of the day” has to go to Aqueduct, who have put on a high quality card with 4 graded stakes races with coup de grace being the Cigar Mile, a grade 1 event worth a cool $500,000.
We’ll look at each graded race in racecard order.
Race 3, The Comely Stakes, Grade 3 for three year old fillies over 1 1/8 miles, Value $250,000
Seven fillies face the starter for this valuable event. Lewis Bay is the 8/5 Morning Line favourite and she looks in prime form having recorded a Beyer of 92 when destroying the field by over 5 lengths in the Turnback The Alarm Stakes. New front running tactics seem to have galvanised her and it would be no surprise to see those tactics repeated today as there doesn’t seem to be much early pace in this race.
The other filly on the penalised weight of 122 pounds is Unbridled Mo and she looks the main danger with a ML price of 2/1. She is unbeaten in four runs over two turns and looks to be improving with every race.
Flora Dora might be worth a small across the board wager at the forecast price of 15/1. She has some decent placed form to her name, not least a third to Songbird in the American Oaks.
Race 6, The Demoiselle Stakes, Grade 2 for two year old fillies over 1 1/8 miles, Value $300,000
Nine 2 year olds have been declared for this year’s renewal of the Demoiselle Stakes, a race won last year by Lewis Bay, who as we know is the favourite for this year’s Comely Stakes.
Morning Line favourite is Jamyson ‘n Ginger at 5/2. She earned an amazing Beyer of 103 when winning by 15 lengths two races back. This no doubt flattered her and she could manage only fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. However, she did not have a great trip early on and made up good ground in the latter stages. The Morning Line 5/2 looks a value price.
Ladies Day looks interesting. After a spell on the sidelines due to sickness, she won her maiden by six lengths. Her price of 8/1 reflects the fact that she has yet to prove she stays this extended mile trip but her pedigree suggests she will and her trainer is very confident. As they say in betting, you pays your money and you takes your chance!
Race 8, The Remsen Stakes, Grade 2 for two year olds over 1 1/8 miles, Value $300,000
10 horses face the starter for the Remsen (effectively the boys’ version of the Demoiselle) and they are headed by 7/5 favorite Takaful. It’s not surprising to see him favourite as he was deeply impressive when winning his maiden in a fast time and earning a Beyer of 92. The only concern is the step up to this trip.
Mo Town will provide formidable opposition to the favourite. He was also most impressive when winning his maiden (over a mile) by seven lengths under a hand ride. He has been working very well and has been the subject of very positive vibes from trainer Tony Dutrow.
Race 10, The Cigar Mile Handicap, Grade 1 for 3 year olds and up over 1 mile, Value $500,000
Now to today’s feature event, the Cigar Mile Handicap. Anchor Down has been allotted 2/1 favoritism and it is not difficult to see why. He recorded a Beyer of 108 when winning the Kelso in a time of 1 minute 32.9 seconds. However, the fascinating issue, which must surely put a plunge bet on hold, is that he has never won from stall one, which is where he starts from today.
Connect will be a live danger. He likes a long lay=off between races so the fact that he hasn’t run for 9 weeks will not be a problem. He did get stuffed by Arrogate in the Travers but, then again, so did everyone else! In addition, he was suffering from a lung infection at the time. He has been working well and looks sure to put up a good performance.
Finally, Threefiveindia is of speculative interest. He has been running consistently well over shorter distances but you do have to take it on trust that he will appreciate this step up to a mile.