Anthony Fontaine’s Race by Race Thoughts on the Cigar Mile card

December 7, 2019

Once again Anthony Fontaine is back with his analysis and selections for all the races on the outstanding Cigar Mile card from Aqueduct. The Cigar Mile will likely have an impact on the three-year old championship as Maximum Security takes on up and coming Spun to Run. There is a mandatory payout in the Empire 6, and good sized competitive fields. Enjoy the races!

Race One: Selections 10-3-4-5 

#10 Croi Mor finally gets to do what he was bred for which is go long on dirt. This runner has had three educational trips on the lawn however I think we see his best to date in today’s contest.

#3 Modernist ran evenly in only start to some nice runners and should benefit exponentially from that experience. The Mott barn is doing well at this meet and expect this runner to be a threat in the lane. #4 War Stopper is the quintessential Rudy Rod type of runner that has shown little in two turf outings yet draws Rosario for today’s contest. Expect major improvement on the surface switch and one to be given serious consideration. 

Race Two, The Winter Memories: Selections 5-2-1-4 

#5 Tuned comes in off a nice score at Keeneland first time in the US for Motion. Has been given plenty of time to recover and be prepared for today’s assignment and Castellano keeping the ride adds to the significant appeal in this spot.

#2 Shelter Island looks like another nice turf runner for Brown who seems to have an endless pipeline of turf horses. The debut was spectacular and although this one is given up experience to these runners I anticipate another move forward which should put her in the mix for the money. #1 Feel Glorious has been running competitively throughout the year without getting to the winners circle since April. An argument can be made this may be a good spot to come out on top. This runner should be given serious consideration today. 

Race Three: Selections 5-1-3-2 

#5 California Night comes in from Churchill and takes a precipitous drop for a sharp outfit. This runner has shown an affinity for this surface in the past and if runner is alright physically should give a good account today.

#1 Candy Promises appears to be the horse to beat with the potent weapon of speed and the inside. Runner just missed in last outing however that was back in July when claimed by current connections. Trainers are not in the habit of taking 5 months off with claiming types then offering them for half the price they paid so would tread carefully when backing this runner today. #3 Lucky Ramsey is another runner that will appreciate the drop in class today as this one found 40k claimers a bit too tough. Davis will have this runner well positioned throughout and can pounce late for a major slice with the right trip. 

Race Four, The Autumn Days: Selections 3-6-7-10 

#3 Rose Flower has had two good outings in country so far and will look to build off those efforts in this stake event. Rosario should fit this runner’s style and providing he can work out a trouble free trip should be formidable in the lane.

#6 Mentality sports frequent layoff lines yet has fired fresh before so the time off is not that concerning with this conditioner. Looks poised to give a solid effort today. #7 Fire Key loves today’s distance and surface and will be tough in the lane. Strictly the one to beat in this spot. 

Race Five: Selections 6-7-2-1 

#6 Moon over Miami had a wide trip in debut and finished evenly late without threatening. Should benefit from the experience and will be tighter today, so do not sell short.

#7 Juulstone has been disappointing in previous efforts to date but should appreciate the trip today. Velazquez sticking with him and the addition of blinkers should have this one more focused on the task at hand and should lead to a better finish. #2 Tapage also adds shades today and has been working super in the morning which leads me to think this one is ready to put it all together in this event and warrants consideration for all slots. 

Race Six, The Go For Wand: Selections 1-3-4-6 

#1 Needs Supervision will be tough in this spot as the race last out at Laurel serves as the perfect prep for today’s assignment. This runner was significantly compromised at Keeneland with the trip yet made up ground in the stretch. Today’s field would appear an easier assignment and with the likely odds on choice vulnerable at the distance will take a stand with this runner.

#3 Spiced Perfection is a model of consistency and always tries hard. Did not have an ideal trip in the Breeders Cup race and was wide and forwardly placed when she had previously done her best running off the pace. Castellano has had previous success with her and will have her poised to strike turning for home at a very short number. #4 Another Broad looks like the most likely of the rest to close late for a share. With a solid pace upfront could pull off a mild upset however probably best to use underneath. 

Race Seven: Selections 12-9-8-7 

#12 Two Point Oh debuts for the dangerous Englehart albeit from a wide post. Runner will need an alert start to establish some position however presence of Irad in the irons alleviates most of my concern about a bad trip. Runner should have an impact on today’s outcome.

#9 Astronaut debuts for a trainer that can have them ready right out the gate. Works are even however that is not uncommon with this conditioner and look forward to a solid debut effort. #8 Villainous plays the role of the other Engelhart runner inn this contest that looks just as formidable. Although first timers are hard to gauge this runner also looks to possess talent and should be competitive today. 

Race Eight, The Demoiselle: Selections 5-12-9-10 

#5 Alandra did not have a smooth trip last out and did well to finish a clear third. Runner will love todays distance with her pedigree and with an alert start will be tough to deny late.

#12 Lake Avenue has yet to run a bad race and the progression in distance is just what this one will relish. Another well-bred runner that will be competing for top honors in the stretch. #9 Blame Debbie goes for the first time for Motion and the waters will be significantly deeper than the competition she has previously faced however runner should give a good account of herself and may surprise for top honors at the nice price. 

Race Nine, The Remsen: Selections 4-9-8-7 

#4 Ajaaweed faced the superstar Maxfield last out and was not in the same zip code at the end however first time around two turns this one did manage a belated rally for 4th. Should be tighter today and can take this field at a nice number.

#9 Amends produced an open length victory last out in the slop however the figure came back extremely weak. With young developing runners it can take them a few starts to put it all together and the fact this one decimated the field last out leads me to believe we have not seen his best and will be formidable today. #8 Alpha Sixty Six did not appreciate the tough competition last out and raced a bit green late. Velazquez sticks with him which boosts confidence of a good performance today and will benefit from the experience gained last out. 

Race Ten, The Cigar Mile: Selections 6-5-3-1 

Spun to Run is the runner to beat at this distance as horse has shown an affinity for mile races. Key will be how this one reacts to being hounded throughout by Maximum Security. Will he crack or keep going, that’s the key to this race.

Maximum Security will look to close the year with a Grade 1 victory against older runners. Has never tried the distance which can be tricky however has proven his mettle before so will be tough to deny. #1 Forewarned would be a shocker but with a speed duel upfront may light up the tote board so on deeper tickets would take this insurance policy.

Contributing Authors

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Anthony Fontaine

An avid horse player for more than 30 originally from the Virgin Islands Tony brings a unique perspective to handicapping.  Using speed figures, keen observation, ...

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Props to the Pick 6 King @jonathanstettin Your pool was the only one I bought into, and with good reason. Thank you sir! Great ‘capping!

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