There are just four Grade 1 races left on the calendar, and today’s Cigar Mile is the last one in New York. Typically, the race is run on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but that would have been just three weeks after the Breeders Cup. NYRA wisely bumped the Cigar Mile back a week and landed a stellar field that includes three Breeders Cup runners and another that ran on one of the undercards.
The two favorites both come out of the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile – #6 Sharp Azteca (2-1) and #8 Practical Joke (7-2). Of the two, we prefer Practical Joke, who was compromised by a very slow pace in the two-turn Dirt Mile but will prefer the configuration of this one-turn race. Sharp Azteca was on the weaker inside in the Dirt Mile, but the pace was slow and he has a few solid pace rivals in here.
Among the other contenders, #1 Mind Your Biscuits (5-1) comes out of the Breeders Cup Sprint where he was aided by being off the bad rail and got some pace. He also has to show his closing kick will be as effective going a mile and won’t be a huge price. #2 Seymourdini (6-1) ran a big race in the Bold Ruler, rallying very well late after dropping back around the far turn. Plus, he has the State Dinner to run back to, where he ran a 113 Beyer on July 3rd, though that was in the mud.
This brings us to the 1-2 finishers from that Bold Ruler, #4 Tom’s Ready (8-1) and #10 Beasley (12-1). Both were aided by the fast pace, though Tom’s Ready made the last clear move on the outside while Beasley was hemmed in by Stallwalkin’ Dude (who came back to win the Fall Highweight last week) and then by Tom’s Ready. Beasley also has more room for improvement being a three-year old with just seven career starts. All four of his races since his layoff have been very good and we’re playing for a Beasley upset.
The Play – We’ll bet Beasley to win and use him in the exacta with Practical Joke, Tom’s Ready and Seymourdini.