Race of the Week: Cigar Mile

SI Gambling insider Frankie Taddeo handicaps this Saturday's Cigar Mile from Aqueduct, plus a BONUS race which including the latest odds and his best bets.
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Two months ago, SI Fantasy PRO members scored when Dayoutoftheoffice ($7.80) crossed the line first in the Frizette Stakes with Vequist in second hitting the Exacta cold ($8.20).

Last month, those of us here at SI Gambling enjoyed another solid score in the Desi Arnaz Stakes when Astute ($12.20) crushed the field by seven lengths with Queengol filling out the exacta at odds of 31/1.

Two weeks ago, the SI Gambling handicapping team stayed red hot when all three of the top projected selections hit the board in the Ontario Derby helping everyone cash their trifecta tickets at odds of 72/1!

We've also cashed in with an Exacta (8/1) and Trifecta (36/1) in the Travers Stakes, and in the Blue Grass Stakes, hitting the Exacta (12/1), Trifecta (60/1) and SUPERFECTA (443/1).

This weekend, racing fans will be treated to some racing action from New York at Aqueduct Racetrack. Among the 10 races on the card is the $250,000 Cigar Mile which has drawn a field of 9 that offers tremendous betting opportunities that will feature some of the top horses in the country. 

The morning-line favorite is Claude McGaughey’s Performer (7/5) who has won five of his six career races. The son of Speightstown heads in an Allowance win back on October 17 at Belmont Park extending his winning streak to five in a row.

Firenze Fire (5/2), a son of Poseidon’s Warrior for trainer Kelly Breen, comes in as the second choice after finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland back on November 7.  

King Guillermo (9/2), a son of Uncle Mo, heads in as the third overall betting choice off a 7-mong layoff after being forced to scratch from the Kentucky Derby due to a fever. The talented colt, owned by former Major League Baseball All-Star Victor Martinez, appears to be heading into Saturday’s Cigar Mile in sharp order according to his morning workouts. 

Mind Control (20/1) comes in less than desirable form missing the board in two his last four races, finishing no better than third, but this son of Stay Thirsty for trainer Gregroy Sacco is truly a “horse for course” who has a strong affinity for Aqueduct with four stakes wins out of five starts taking place at Aqueduct. An intriguing 'moonshot' possibility underneath for all exotic tickets. 

Who will cross the finish line first? Let’s take a look at the odds and dive deeper. 

Cigar Mile (G1) 

Racetrack: Aqueduct, New York

Date: Saturday, December 5, 2020

Purse: $250,000

Distance: 1 M, Dirt

Race: 10

Post Time: 4:13 pm EST / 1:13 pm PST

HORSES OF NOTE: Listed by post number, name, and odds:

#6 King Guillermo (9/2) - The formula suggests we can not pass up the excellent value here on the horse I was planning to heavily back in the Kentucky Derby before his illness. Now healthy, he has been training bullets in his work-up to this race. The only concern is the 7 month layoff, but I am willing to bet he is “chomping at the bit” and sitting on a big effort off the pine. Pick 

#1 Performer (7/5) - This colt, on a five-race winning streak, must be respected on all tickets. This will be a step up in class as he goes for his first career Grade 1 stakes win and drawing the rail could hurt. He will be placed prominently on the front end and will likely battle Mr. Buff for the early lead. Dangerous Contender 

#4 Firenze Fire (7/2) - This Bay colt for Kelly Breen had a solid showing in the Breeder’s Cup Sprint and should be ready to fire (no pun intended). I am fading him on the top two spots simply because all six of his most recent wins have come sprinting and now he is being asked to stretch out. If the track comes up ‘wet or muddy’ on Saturday he is a complete toss off all tickets. Respect 

#6 Mr. Buff (6/1) - Another “horse for the course” who has won his last seven starts at Aqueduct, but this is a step up into Grade 1 Stakes company. He is the likely speed of the race and if he gets loose and goes uncontested he could be difficult to catch. Top Longshot 

#2 Mind Control (20/1) - This colt is back to stretching out and I love that angle after failing to find the winner’s circle in five consecutive sprint races. He now adds Johnny V in the saddles and is back at a track he truly shines at, making him an attractive contender for all bottom rungs of exotic tickets to spice up all payouts. Exotic Moonshot 

Cigar Mile Formula Rankings 

#6 King Guillermo 

#1 Performer

#4 Firenze Fire

#5 Mr. Buff

#2 Mind Control

#8 Mr. Timber

#7 Majestic Dunhill

#9 Bon Rasion

#3 Snapper Sinclair

Cigar Mile Breakdown 

Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy) 

This race is truly a two-horse race according to the formula and still offers some great value. My top play is #6 King Guillermo (9/2) who I will use with #1 Performer (7/5). However, I will make them co-top favorites in my exotic plays. My top longshots are #5 Mr. Buff (6/1) #2 Mind Control (20/1) and #8 Mr. Timber (15/1). Once again, I will be looking to beat the chalk with a horse I was high on to win the Kentucky Derby. 

Exacta BOX: 1,6/ 1,4,5,6,8  

$1 wager: $10

TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 1,6 with 1,6 with 2,4,5,8 

$1 wager: $10

SPREAD Trifecta Part-Wheel: 1,6 with 1,4,5,6 with 1,2,4,5,6,8 

$1 wager: $24

All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll 


BONUS RACE --- Demoiselle Stakes 

Demoiselle Stakes (G2) 

Racetrack: Aqueduct, New York

Date: Saturday, December 5, 2020

Purse: $125,000

Distance: 1 ⅛ M, Dirt

Race: 9

Post Time: 3:44 pm EST / 12:44 pm PST

The race directly preceding the Cigar Mile is the Demoiselle Stakes. I think this offers us a great chance to play the LATE DOUBLE. In this wager you will be wagering on the winners of both Race 9 and 10.  

The winner of the race will likely come from being a daughter of Curlin as #1 Malathaat (4-5), #3 Millefeuille (7/2) and Malibu Curl (6/1) are three of the strongest contenders. However, the formula suggests the winner be likely be between the prohibitive morning-line favorite Malathaat for trainer Todd Pletcher and the #3 Millefueille for Bill Mott. The formula actually rates the second choice, Millefeuille, several points higher and that is significant expected value.  

There is rain in the forecast, so all SI PRO members will be updated in the community chat but here is the suggested wager as of publishing: 

$25 TOP DOUBLE: (Cost $25) 

Race 9: #3 Millefeuille (Top Pick)

Race 10: #6 Guillermo (Top Pick)

$5 DOUBLE: (Cost $25) 

Race9: #1 Malathatt, #3 Millefeuille  

Race 10: #1 Performer, #6 Guillermo

Demoiselle Stakes Wagering

Exacta BOX: 1,3/1,2,3,4,5

$1 wager: 6

TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 3 with 1,2,4,5 with 1,2,4,5 

$1 wager: $12

SPREAD Trifecta Part-Wheel: 1,3 with 1,3 with 2,4,5 

$1 wager: $10


Good Luck!