The Grade I, $250,000 Cigar Mile, the centerpiece race of Aqueduct’s autumn meet, anchors Saturday’s thoroughbred action. The Cigar drew a field of nine, led by highly-regarded prospect PERFORMER, and Tampa Bay Derby winner KING GUILLERMO. Post time for the Cigar Mile, the finale on a 10-race program, is 4:13 p.m. ET.
#1 PERFORMER (7-5, morning-line favorite) has won five in a row since checking in third on debut just over two years ago. The son of Speightstown had just registered his first career stakes score in the Grade III Discovery last November before hitting the shelf for almost a year. PERFORMER aced his comeback allowance/optional claiming race at Belmont two months ago. Joel Rosario and Shug McGaughey will once again team up with this talented four-year-old colt.
#6 KING GUILLERMO (9-2) has generated a lot of attention despite racing just twice at age three. He upset the Tampa Bay Derby two-back off a four-month freshening, then rested two more months until the Arkansas Derby. He was second in that race, and hasn’t been seen since. KING GUILLERMO missed the Kentucky Derby in the interim with a minor ailment. If this son of Uncle Mo is healthy, he’s capable of competing in this relatively-weak Grade I. Jose Ortiz has the call.
#3 SNAPPER SINCLAIR (20-1), #4 FIRENZE FIRE (5-2), and #5 MR. BUFF (6-1) should all be considered underneath in the exotics.
SNAPPER SINCLAIR hit the board in four of six stakes tries in 2020, three of which were on dirt. FIRENZE FIRE is 3-for-6 lifetime at the one-mile distance and has two Grade II wins in his back pocket this year. MR. BUFF could get loose on the lead and land a share.
The play: $4 exacta box 1/6, $3 trifecta 1/6/3,4,5, $1 trifecta 1/3,4,5/6 ($20)
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