When We Say Cigar Mile, You Say...

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Saturday, December 5, 2020

The word association game, the one where somebody says a random word and you say the first thing that comes to mind. Well, if you add a layer and play the horse racing word association game, you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind as it relates to horse racing.

Cigar is the word, the first thing the pops to mind is old-timer. Envision, in black and white, the horse racing vet, chewing on a half-smoked cigar, wearing a Fedora lost in a mess of past performance paperwork.

Can you see it?

So, when I hear Cigar Mile, that's what comes to mind. A race that pays tribute to the old timer. A horseplayer who spent hours at the track, got the insider info by knowing the horses, the trainers, the jockeys, and had every track specific angle covered. The one everyone followed to the window and eavesdropped on the bets.  Hmm, nostalgia for days gone by when people interacted with people and not keyboards.

Yeah, Yeah, the Cigar Mile is named after the horse Cigar, who won this race when it was called the NYRA Mile. An old timer tribute is better, don't you agree?

Let's continue with the word association game as it relates to the Cigar Mile.

Word - Winner:

PERFORMER (PP: 1 ML 7/5) has won five of six races with a third in his debut. He's been even more impressive on a fast hard track, he's undefeated in four of four. Now, he gets some serious track biases that work to his favor:

1 – the rail wins at 29% for the distance/surface

2 – speed, especially inside speed, won 20 of the 21 races at the distance/surface during the current meet.

Word – Contender:

MR. BUFF (PP: 5 ML 6-1) is a horse for the Aqueduct course. The gelded six-year-old has raced in Queens, New York 13 times and visited the winners' circle in eight of them. He's only hit the tape first in seven of 27 efforts anywhere else on the planet.

He gets out of the gate in a hurry and should be on/near the lead all the way around the track. MR. BUFF put the highest, last race speed figure in the past performance booklets and could move forward in his second start off the bench.

Word – Longshot:

MIND CONTROL (PP: 2 ML 20-1) is another that likes the Q. The son of STAY THIRSTY has raced on Aqueduct's main track five times, scoring the win in four of them, with a second. A little more digging shows MIND CONTROL exceed triple-digits on Equibase's speed gun in each of his AQ efforts, but only three times in a dozen races elsewhere.

Word – Wager:

Exacta: #1 PERFORMER or #5 MR. BUFF to win with #1 PERFORMER, #2 MIND CONTROL, #4 FIRENZE FIRE, #5 MR. BUFF or #6 KING GUILLERMO to finish second.

Word – Cigar Mile:

The tenth at Aqueduct on Saturday, December 5, 2020. It's named after the horse CIGAR but should also be viewed as an ode to the old timer, in our humble opinion.


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