The $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) heads a lineup of six stakes races at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York on Saturday, December 7. The premiere day of the track’s fall/winter meeting is one of the last big events on the 2019 racing calendar.
The Cigar Mile pits dual grade 1 winner Maximum Security, who also won the Kentucky Derby but was disqualified for interference, against Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Spun to Run. The latter is unbeaten at the distance in three tries, and will attempt to go to the front end early under Irad Ortiz, Jr. Maximum Security won the Haskell Invitational (G1) over the summer, but missed the Breeders’ Cup Classic due to a bout of colic. He faced older horses for the first time in the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) across town and ran a career best speed figure.
The $250,000 Remsen Stakes (G2) is one of the first steps on the road to the Kentucky Derby. Top trainers Todd Pletcher, Shug McGaughey, Kiaran McLaughlin, and Bill Mott each have runners, who appear evenly matched on the tote board. Worth a look is Amends on the outside gate at 12-1; the son of Uncle Mo has Jose Ortiz aboard and won his maiden race over 1 1/16 miles by more than fourth lengths.
The $250,000 Demoiselle (G2) has a full field of 12, with Godolphin’s daughter of Tapit and grade 1 winner Seventh Street, Lake Avenue, drawn on the far outside. She broke her maiden on this track by 12 ¾ lengths November 14, controlling the pace and sprinting away in good time. Mark Hennig trains another daughter of Tapit, Maedean, who is a two-time winner and stakes winner on this track over a mile last out. That was the Tempted Stakes, which she won by more than five lengths.
The $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (G3) has a field of six. The 3-5 choice is Spiced Perfection, a multiple grade 1 winner coming out of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) where she was fourth. Peter Miller trains the millionaire filly. New York-bred Our Super Nova starts on the outside after winning against state breds in a stakes event by more than four lengths here November 10. Junior Alvarado will ride. Saguaro Row won the Pumpkin Pie Stakes here one day earlier, cruising by more than four lengths for trainer Mike Stidham.
The $125,000 Autumn Days is one of two stakes on the grass. This one drew 16 runners; only 10 can start. Broadway Run takes the blinkers off and is a winner over the distance.
The $150,000 Winter Memories kicks off the action as race 2. Feel Glorious (GB) breaks from the rail and is dropping out of grade 2 company, where she was second beaten just a half-length on October 12. Shelter Island (FR) breaks alongside for trainer Chad Brown, she won on debut September 21 at Belmont Park.