Aqueduct spot plays for Cigar Mile Day

Profile Picture: Keeler Johnson

December 6th, 2019

The last major racing day of the year in New York will take place Saturday, December 7 at Aqueduct.

Half a dozen stakes races are on the agenda, including the $250,000 Remsen Stakes (G2), a steppingstone on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. We’ve already previewed the Remsen, but the $250,000 Demoiselle Stakes (G2) and the $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) are just as appealing from handicapping and sporting perspectives.

Want to play along? Here are a couple of spot plays to get you started.

Race 8: Demoiselle Stakes (G2)

#12 Lake Avenue ran well in her debut for trainer Bill Mott. The 2-year-old Tapit filly finished second after she led into the stretch, and that effort turned out to be a sign of big things to come. The Godolphin homebred subsequently roared to 12 3/4-length maiden win in a six-furlong event at Aqueduct and earned a 90 Brisnet speed rating.

Out of Seventh Street, a two-time grade 1 winner at 1 1/16 miles or farther, Lake Avenue should relish the opportunity to stretch out to 1 1/8 miles in the Demoiselle. The wide draw is a concern, but Lake Avenue has tactical speed and will hopefully tuck in just behind the leaders heading into the first turn.

Let’s bet Lake Avenue to win and single her in a double with #8 Alpha Sixty Six the Remsen Stakes.

$20 to win on #12 Lake Avenue $10 double: 12 with 8

Race 10: Cigar Mile Handicap (G1)

#5 Maximum Security has a serious chance at being voted champion 3-year-old male of 2019. The disqualified winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1), Maximum Security has a ton of tactical speed and the ability to carry it over classic distances. He recently returned from an episode of colic to comfortably defeat older rivals in the seven-furlong Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) and should be well-suited to the one-turn configuration of the Cigar Mile.

But Maximum Security is drawn inside of key pace rival #6 Spun to Run, who might be a freak in the making. This son of Hard Spun has undergone an incredible transformation in recent weeks. He crushed older rivals by 6 3/4 lengths in the M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile Stakes, then dominated the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in gate-to-wire fashion. Both efforts yielded strong Brisnet speed figures, and Spun to Run’s performance in the Breeders’ Cup was particularly impressive, because he carved out fast fractions over a slow track and just kept going.

Spun to Run has come back with a couple of bullet workouts at Parx and appears to be sitting on another big effort. Maximum Security might have the reputation, but Spun to Run is turning into a monster and might even start at a better price.

$20 exacta: 6 with 5

Good luck!