Bet on the Cigar Mile Handicap
The Cigar Mile Handicap began in 1988 as a New York Racing Association event and rapidly attracted terrific racing talent from the start. This Grade 1 race takes place at the legendary Aqueduct Racetrack on the dirt track in November. Many of the United States' top horses compete for the Cigar, following in the hoof-prints of previous champions. The Cigar Handicap has earned respect and an interesting history in its relatively short period of time as a significant east coast event.
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Cigar Mile Betting Odds
When favored Secret Circle stumbled out of the gate in the 2014 Cigar, it just the break 5-1 Private Zone needed to get the lead on his own, and from there he cruised to the finish line and an $11.60 payout on a $2 ticket. Whether you bet a straight Win, Place or Show ticket, or into the exotic pools, cash back on all internet wagers through a racebook like Bovada sweetens the odds in your favor.
2016 Cigar Mile Contenders
The 2015 edition of the Cigar Mile (G1) set up to be one of the most exciting races of the fall, featuring a showdown between the reigning champion Private Zone and the hard-knocking and consistent Tonalist.
Making his first start for trainer Brian Lynch, Private Zone went off as the favorite. From out of the gate, it was immediately clear that jockey Martin Pedroza was having difficulty handling the speedster and they fought on the lead before weakening in the stretch. Tonalist, looking for redemption after finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), looked hopelessly beaten but launched a bold bid from the middle of the track to win by a neck over his stablemate Red Vine. Both horses are trained by Christophe Clement and have gone to Florida to prepare for the 2016 racing season.
2015 Order of Finish: Win Place Show
1st: Tonalist $6.40 $3.70 $2.70
2nd Red Vine $4.50 $3.30
3rd: Matrooh $4.80
(Also Ran: Mshawish, Private Zone, Full of Mine Scratched: Marking)
Check back closer to the race for the contenders for the 2016 Cigar Mile.
Did you know?
As a group one race, the Cigar Handicap attracts some of the strongest competition in the United States. With a recent rise in purse to $500,000 in 2013, this race will continue to attract the best thoroughbreds. The inaugural race was won by Forty Niner in 1988, who also won the Travers Stakes and the Haskell Stakes that year, establishing the Cigar Handicap as a premiere race.
The only two-time winner of the Cigar Mile is Congaree, who placed first in 2002 and 2003. Discreet Cat holds the record for quickest finish, clocking in at 1:32.46 in 2006. Affirmed Success - son of the last Triple Crown winner Affirmed – ran this race three times, finishing second in 1998, first in 1999 and third in 2000. Originally known as the NYRA Mile, this race became the Cigar Mile Handicap when Hall-of-Fame thoroughbred and previous winner Cigar retired in 1997. The most successful jockey for this race is Jerry Baily, who rode Cigar to victory and Conagree for consecutive wins, while racking up a total of five victories.