Handicapping the Cigar, Remsen and Demoiselle at Aqueduct

Profile Picture: James Scully

December 2nd, 2017

The $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) anchors a 10-race program at Aqueduct Saturday that includes a pair of 1 1/8-mile stakes for 2-year-olds. Here’s a preview of the final three graded events:

Demoiselle (G2)

#6 Maurer Power makes her stakes and two-turn debut against seven juvenile fillies and I’ll stick with the up-and-coming daughter of freshman sire Violence who is unbeaten from a pair of starts. An easy maiden winner at Delaware Park, she added Lasix and showed nice improvement for John Servis when rolling to a convincing entry-level allowance win at Parx on October 21, registering a 93 BRIS that is tied for the best last-out number. Maurer Power is bred to appreciate added ground and possesses good tactical speed. And I like the addition of Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard the promising miss.

#5 Indy Union broke through with a seven-length victory last time and has registered increasing BRIS Late Pace numbers in all three dirt starts. She’ll be running late under Jose Ortiz. #3 Wonder Gadot has shown good class on turf and synthetic tracks, and the Medaglia d’Oro filly will be looking to rebound after experiencing a troubled trip making her dirt bow in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

Remsen (G2)

Servis has another talented prospect in the Remsen, #10 Tap Rap Strike, who jumps straight to stakes company following a debut score in a one-mile maiden at Parx. A $875,000 purchase at the OBS March 2-year-old sale, the Tapit colt was on hold behind a slow pace last time and his 84 BRIS Speed rating appears deceiving. Tap Rap Strike rallied powerfully after swinging out for the stretch drive, garnering a 101 BRIS Late Pace figure, and I like his chances from just off the pace here with Irad Ortiz taking over the reins.

#2 Triple Dog Dare and #7 Alkhaatam exit a fast maiden race at Belmont Park on October 25, finishing well to be a close second and third for Rudy Rodriguez and Chad Brown, respectively, and the lightly-raced colts are eligible to make a significant impact in the latter stages.

Cigar Mile

With plenty of early speed signed on, #1 Mind Your Biscuits should receive the perfect set-up. The late runner appeared to go off form at Saratoga this summer when turning in a dull showing in the Forego (G1), but he’s headed back in the right direction for Chad Summer following a fast-closing third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) that netted a career-best 108 BRIS Speed rating. An outstanding winner of the Malibu (G1), Golden Shaheen (G1) and Belmont Sprint (G2), Mind Your Biscuits has a lethal turn foot and 7-furlongs or a one-mile mile is probably a better fit than 6-furlongs. He runs big in New York and can finish fastest of all.

#8 Practical Joke five-for-five at one-turn distances and winless around two turns. The multiple Grade 1 winner be running late behind an expected hot/contested pace. #6 Sharp Azteca has class and speed, but he’s exiting a tough stretch-long duel in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in which he appeared to surge back in front in midstretch only to falter late in a half-length second. His best races have come on the front end but the possibility exists for new jockey Javier Castellano to sit just off the other early speed in the field.


None of my top picks – Maurer Power, Tap Rap Strike and Mind Your Biscuits – appear likely to go favored and I’ll play them straight if the price is right and key in vertical exotics. I’ll also build a trio of $10 Pick 3s and recommend a pair of $10 daily doubles on a $100 budget (costs only $10 using $1 denomination).

Here are the tickets I will be playing:

Race 8

$10 Pick 3: 6 with 2,7,10 with 1 ($30)

$10 Pick 3: 6 with 10 with 1,6,8 ($30)

$10 Pick 3: 3,5 with 10 with 1 ($20)

$10 Daily Double: 6-10

Race 9

$10 Daily Double: 10-1

Total = $100

Good luck!