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Homeracing

Aqueduct: How to bet With, and Against, Zandon in the 2022 Cigar Mile

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

December 1st, 2022

A total of six horses will go postward in the lucrative $750,000 Cigar Mile H. (G1) on Saturday. The one to beat in the cast is Grade 1 winner #2 Zandon (1-1) from the barn of Chad Brown. A $1.4 million earner while never being out of the money in his eight lifetime performances to date, the stout late runner will be tough to deny with his best showing off the bench.

Zandon – With

  • $25 trifecta: key 2 with 3, 7 ($50)

Zandon – Against

  • $10 trifecta: 3, 7 with 2, 3, 7 with 2, 3, 7 ($40)
  • 50-cent trifecta: 3, 7 with 2, 3, 7 with all ($8)

By Upstart, the 2022 Kentucky Derby third-place finisher will be facing his elders for the initial time but will not go up against the deepest field ever assembled on Saturday.

A big runner-up in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) in his most recent effort, Zandon was a nose second in the 2021 Remsen S. (G2) on the surface in his lone local appearance, and I think that he will thrive on the cutback to one-turn racing for the initial time since his winning debut effort as a juvenile.

The favorite has trained consistently since early October and will be fit and ready to put his best foot forward on this day. Joel Rosario will ride the dark bay and have him moving best of all inside the final furlong.

Multiple Grade 1 winner #7 Mind Control (5-2) will make the final start of his fine career in this tilt for conditioner Todd Pletcher. The bay son of Stay Thirsty has compiled a sharp 7-4-2-1 mark on the oval in his lifetime and comes off a big showing in the Parx Dirt Mile S. in his most recent performance.

The six-year-old has carried his form for five seasons of racing and thrives at the distance, where he shows four wins and a second from five attempts. Regular pilot John Velazquez will be in the stirrups, and in a field lacking pace, he figures to force the tempo from the opening bell. Mind Control should receive a perfect voyage throughout.

Florida Derby (G1) hero #3 White Abarrio (9-2) lacks overall consistency, but the son of Race Day can be very good on his best day for conditioner Saffie Joseph. The gray set the pace before being outrun late in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) in his most recent venture, and I expect the colt to flourish on the cutback in distance against this cast. Irad Ortiz will have the three-year-old forwardly placed from the break.

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