Paul Quigley's US Racing Preview

Paul has selections with analysis for Saturday night's stateside action from Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs including The Grade 1 Cigar Mile - live on Sky Sports Racing.

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PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs including The Grade 1 Cigar Mile for
Saturday 7 December 2019


Although The Breeders’ Cup last month may be seen as the end of the year as far as the top stakes events are concerned, there is still the odd racing gem before 31 December. Aqueduct’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile is definitely one of them. The market is likely to have it as a virtual match. In one corner is Kentucky Derby first passed the post Maximum Security. But for some ill luck, he could have been a perfect eight for eight lifetime. He made a super comeback at Belmont last month and looks a very possible wire to wire winner under regular rider Luis Saez. In July, he had likely second favourite Spun to Run a distant third in The Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth. It is safe to say the mount of Irad Ortiz has looked much improved since. A six length stakes victory at Parx was followed up by a convincing wire to wire score in The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. If he runs the same race, he’ll give Maximum Security a real scare.

The rest of the card at Aqueduct is very decent. I’ve also included a pair of stakes from Tampa to make eight in total.


Aqueduct Race 2 (5.00pm)
The Winter Memories – A stake for 3 year old fillies - 1 1/16 Miles - Turf

This race should have taken place last week. Most of the original entries are here. I went for Graham Motion’s ex French trained Tuned (5) then and I am leaning the same way again. She was a comfortable winner of an allowance event at Keeneland on her Stateside debut in October. As she hadn’t raced since April, there is likely to be better to come.

Tuned did get a fast pace to chase down in Kentucky. The early fractions may be a lot more tepid here although if On the Town (12) runs hard with likely leader Jabuticaba (5), she and others may get a good set up. Chad Brown’s Shelter Island (2) will likely be forwardly placed early on. She was a ready winner on debut at Belmont in September and could be anything.

The standard setter here is Christophe Clement’s Feel Glorious (1). She’s been placed in back to back stakes including a Grade 2 at Belmont in October. She deserves maximum respect. Her barn mate Sorrentina Lemon (11) is interesting. She is unbeaten in a pair of starts and could be up to the rise in class. So too could Todd Pletcher’s Atomic Blonde (4) who is on a hat-trick after a maiden breaker and allowance win.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Tuned (5)
EXOTIC BETS
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Shelter Island (2) and Tuned (5)

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Aqueduct Race 4 (6.00pm)
The Autumn Days – A stake for fillies and mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Turf

There is not a massive amount of early speed signed on. That means that Fire Key (7) should sit handily without having to use up too much petrol. The six year old got back to winning ways in a stake at Belmont in October. That made it seven victories from a dozen starts over the distance. She is a multiple stakes winner, one coming locally in 2017. She may be a safer play than Broadway Run (4) who finished behind her three times this year but has got close to her a couple of times.

The former French based Rose Flower (3) looks an improving three year old. She was a winner under allowance conditions over seven furlongs at Belmont in October. Her form as it stands is below the likely favourites and a little shy of the likes of Rocky Policy (1). She had Boos (2) back in third when winning a stake at Parx in late September. She is worth a look along with Wes Ward’s Mentality (6). She has won two of her last three starts and is well worth a try back in stakes company.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Fire Key (7)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
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Tampa Bay Downs Race 3 (6.41pm)
The Inaugural - A stake for 2 year olds – 6 Furlongs - Dirt

The standard setter here is Another Miracle (5). He won a stake at Saratoga in August and latterly ran third to Four Wheel Drive in The Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint Turf. Trainer Gary Contessa switches him to the dirt today. Considering he ran second on debut on the surface, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Another Miracle faces a couple of really promising rivals. Cajun Casanova (1) won a stake at Gulfstream by three plus lengths in wire to wire fashion in September. That was on the grass but his maiden breaker came on the dirt. He may have company on the lead from Zaino Boyz (4). A speed duel and Breckenridge (2) may be a late player.

No Getting Over Me (7) won by almost ten lengths on debut at the end of last month. That was over a mile but he didn’t look short of speed. If he improves second time out, he’s a big threat to Another Miracle and Cajun Casanova.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Another Miracle (5)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
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Aqueduct Race 6 (7.09pm)
The Go For Wand Handicap – A stake for fillies and mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 Mile - Dirt

Spiced Perfection (3) has won half of her eighteen career starts including The Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland in April. She won a Grade 2 back in Kentucky on her return in October before taking her chances in The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. She faded badly to be fourth that day. On the face of it, stepping up to a mile is not what she is crying out for but there are reasons for thinking this one turn configuration won’t be an issue. Jockey Javier Castellano could have her on an easy lead and there are no monsters trying to outfinish her.

Spiced Perfection will still have to run well to win as some of her rivals have decent form. Another Broad (4) came back to form when a close up second in a stake over nine furlongs here last month. She has two victories to her name over a one turn mile. Saguaro Row (5) ran a career best when taking a local stake over seven furlongs four weeks ago. She runs as if the longer trip will suit. Our Super Nova (6) is a progressive New York bred. She won a state bred stake by four lengths last time and has never been out of the exacta in half a dozen starts over a mile.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Spiced Perfection (3)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
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Aqueduct Race 8 (8.13pm)
The Demoiselle (Grade 2) – 2 year old fillies – 1 1/8 Miles - Dirt

There is no outstanding candidate here which is why there is a big field choc-full of lightly raced fillies. Maedean (2) beat Water White (11) to break her maiden second time out. She followed that up with a five and a half length stakes victory over a mile here last month. Like many of these, she runs like she will improve for this longer distance. Likewise Alandra (5). She had the pace to win over seven furlongs on debut at Saratoga before trying The Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland. You can give her a pass for that bad beat as she was bumped badly at the start. The majority of the nine lengths she was beaten was by a filly who took The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies a month later.

Miss Marissa (4) looked good when graduating but never made the lead on her own in Belmont’s Grade 1 Frizette next time. Unlike her, Critical Value (6) did follow up a maiden score. Admittedly the competition was weaker in a New York bred stake but she won by open lengths suggesting she could be a graded stakes filly

There are a host of last time out maiden winners in here who could be anything. Lake Avenue (12) posted the biggest speed figure scoring by a dozen lengths. She is bred to improve stepping up to nine furlongs but has a potentially tricky draw. Water White (11) lost to Maedean (2) in October before going one better six weeks later. I Dare U (8) could do no more than win at first asking. Blame Debbie (9) looked a different filly second time at the races. Fiftyshays Ofgreen (1) is more exposed than most but does draw well.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Alandra (5)
EXOTIC BETS
Combination (Boxed) Exacta (6 Bets) Maedean (2), Alandra (5) and Critical Value (6)

BET ON US RACING
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Aqueduct Race 9 (8.43pm)
The Remsen (Grade 2) – 2 year olds – 1 1/8 Miles - Dirt

Like with the fillies in the race before, there is no outstanding candidate. In fact, any of six or seven of these could win. The fastest juvenile race in New York this year was The Grade 3 Nashua. All but a length of the thirteen Chase Tracker (1) was beaten was by the super impressive winner Independence Hall. Todd Pletcher’s colt ran to almost the same level as his debut and he may head a wide open market. His barn mate Alpha Sixty Six (8) also won first time out. He was far from disgraced when fifth in Belmont’s Grade 1 Champagne next time. Like the rail drawn runner, he tries two turns and nine furlongs for the first time.

Forza Di Oro (2) hasn’t ran as fast as some of these but will take money off what he has shown in two starts. An eye-catching runner up on debut was followed by a maiden win without being too hard pressed. Cleon Jones (3) is more exposed but achieved more. He’s not been out of the exacta in a trio of New York bred stakes, winning one in September. He runs as if this longer distance will suit.

Ajaaweed (4) beat Forza Di Oro (2) on debut before running below that form in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity. He can’t be dismissed. Shotski (6) looks to be improving fast. He ran fourth in a decent looking stake at Churchill last time. Informative (5) lost by a nose in a six furlong stake at Laurel last month. He is stepped up to a trip more in keeping with his pedigree.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Chase Tracker (1)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
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Aqueduct Race 10 (9.16pm)
The Cigar Mile Handicap (Grade 1)– 3 year olds and upwards – 1 Mile - Dirt

The market is likely to have a lob-sided look to it. Kentucky Derby first passed the post Maximum Security (5) will head it. He has run twice at Monmouth since and had Spun to Run (6) back in third when taking The Grade 1 Haskell in July. He was super impressive in a Grade 3 at Belmont on his return in late October. Luis Saez was unable to get a breather into him and he still made all with Tale of Silence (10) and True Timber (11) filling the places. The is a couple of pace types in here but he looks the dominant speed of this contest. The joint best horse and the possibility of an uncontested lead look a deadly combination.

Spun to Run (6) has looked much improved since beaten on the square by Maximum Security in New Jersey in July. He slammed a stakes field at Parx before upsetting The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile field at Santa Anita. Without question, he was aided by a soft lead in California but he ran big all the same. In fact, he ran to a similar speed figure to that of Parx when he stalked the pace. The cut back to one turn shouldn’t be an issue. The question is if Maximum Security is ‘on one’, can he produce a third big effort on the bounce.

It may be 8/1 or even 10/1 bar two and some of the bigger priced runners are well worth a look. Whitmore (1) is a classy late runner over six and seven furlongs. He was a fine third in The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint last month. He should get a mile no problem. Todd Pletcher’s Bal Harbour (2) is capable of big efforts including a runner up in a Grade 1 at Saratoga in August. Chad Brown has entered a pair of lightly raced three year olds. Looking At Bikinis (9) beat an allowance field by open lengths at Keeneland in October. He looks playable. Interestingly, Javier Castellano seems to prefer barn mate Network Effect (8). Like Looking At Bikinis, his best races are likely to be in front of him only making his belated three year old debut last month.

Nicodemus (7) was a Grade 3 winner over a one turn mile. He gives away a recency edge to his rivals. Pat On the Back (4) had True Timber (11) back in third when winning a Grade 2 at Kelso in September. It is the last named who has upside at a big price. He’s run well in two races since returning from a trip to Dubai in March. He ran second in this race last year and may be on the verge of a peak effort. Although it may be asking too much to beat the big two, an each way play or in exactas and trifectas with them seem possible ways to go.

PAUL'S SELECTION
True Timber (11) Each Way
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets


Tampa Bay Downs Race 9 (9.51pm)
The Sandpiper – A stake for 2 year old fillies – 6 Furlongs - Dirt

The only previous stakes winner in this line up is Two Sixty (8). She beat a field of Florida breds by over six lengths over an extended mile at Gulfstream in September. That prompted trainer Mark Casse to run her in The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. She set a fast pace and was used up, fading badly. She’s cut back to six furlongs today. That is unlikely to be an issue as she has tons of speed and did break her maiden over four and a half furlongs. Five times Tampa leading jockey Antonio Gallardo takes the ride.

Lucrezia (1) broke her maiden in a swift time on the turf at Keeneland in October. She paid the price for attending a fast fractions in a stake at Aqueduct next time. Now she’s switched to the dirt. She did make a promising debut in Kentucky on the surface so the move shouldn’t be her undoing. Jockey Danny Centeno may have to gun her from that rail draw. There is other speed in here so may be softened up a little and be vulnerable late on. The twice-raced Campy Cash (3) is one possible pace partner. . She’s been freshened up since a runner up try in a stake at Monmouth in September.

Bridge Dancer (5) looked of limited ability in four starts until a fine second in a stake at Presque Isle Downs in October.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Two Sixty (8)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets


Paul Quigley's US Racing Preview
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