Scheduled for a 3:45 ET post, the Grade 1 Cigar mile will feature a salty group of eight veteran rivals, and follows the Grade 2 Remsen for two year-old colts. The Cigar is a race where I feel like I have some good handicapping opinions to pad the bankroll for Christmas.
Here’s 5 quick takeways:
- 2/1 morning line favorite Mendelssohn looks highly vulnerable
- 7/2 choice Patternrecognition is 2 for 2 at Aqueduct and has only finished worse than second once in 10 career starts
- 5/2 second choice Copper Town looks like a potential star
- 9/2 choice Sunny Ridge can surprise and will likely go off at higher odds
- This is Copper Town’s race to lose
Meet the field
- Mendelssohn 2/1
- Sunny Ridge 9/2
- Pat On the Back 15/1
- Stan the Man 30/1
- Copper Town 5/2
- True Timber 12/1
- Timeline 10/1
- Patternrecognition 7/2
Getting down to brass tacks
This is a true handicapper’s type of betting race because I believe the morning line odds represent much more parity than actually exists in this race. For starters, I am going to toss Mendelssohn completely. He always gets overbet and enters this event on a five-race losing streak. It’s not that he’s a bad horse; it’s just that he’s usually a bad bet. This is the case once again.
Mendelssohn will such quite a bit of public money because of his name-recognition and relative star power. This field is lacking in the latter commodity, but maybe only because Copper Town missed a year of racing due to injury.
The Todd Pletcher trainee has been nothing short of brilliant in his four-race career, winning all but his first start. In this three wins, he scored by margins of 3 3/4, 6 1/4, and 5 lengths respectively. The brilliance I’m suggesting was on full display Oct.13 at Keeneland where the four year-old colt returned from a 371-day layoff to win easily against a solid allowance field. That effort was in a 6.5 furlong race, but he’s won at a mile and 1 1/16 miles in the past, so the extra distance is of little concern.
Picks and parting thoughts
There are some other good horses in this race, but I’m all about taking the most talented runner. If Copper Town is thriving and on the cusp of improvement as his form suggests, then I don’t see any horse in this field catching him. He’s that good.
If he’s off his game, or simply doesn’t fire his best effort, I think Patternrecognition and Sunny Ridge are capable of getting the job done, and I’d still take both over Mendelssohn at short odds.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:
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