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Jose Ortiz and Patternrecognition after winning the Cigar Mile.
The last Grade 1 of the New York racing season is the $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap Presented by NYRA Bets (G1). This 1 mile trip around one turn of the Aqueduct main track for older horses often plays a role in deciding Eclipse Award champions in certain categories. Conditions were typical for late November, with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 40's, with the main track rated fast and both turf courses rated good. UAE Derby (G1) winner and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) 3rd place finisher Mendelssohn was sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the field of 8 off his 5th place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice Copper Town, off 3 straight wins in allowance company making his stakes debut here, and 5-1 third choice Patternrecognition, winner of the Kelso Handicap (G2).
Down the stretch in the Cigar Mile with Patternrecognition in the lead
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Patternrecognition Ortiz 12.80 6.80 4.40 6 True Timber Bravo 23.80 10.80 2 Sunny Ridge Ortiz Jr. 3.90 Winning Time: 1:34.98 $1 Exacta 8-6 108.00 $1 Trifecta 8-6-2 549.50 $1 Superfecta 8-6-2-1 1,915.00Results Chart
Left: Patternrecognition in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "It went great. He broke out of there very sharply. The way he broke, I didn't want to give the lead away, so I used my own judgment and took a shot and went straight to the rail and took the lead. He got pressured pretty good. I took a big risk because those weren't the instructions, but it worked out."
Right: Patternrecognition heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "He's had some soundness issues along the way and I want to thank the owners Seth Klarman and Bill Lawrence for never giving up on this horse. He needed the time to always get healthy when we needed to rest the horse. Ultimately, he showed the talent that we thought he had when they bought him as a 2-year-old and this is really a great moment for this horse. He deserves it. This horse is a rare horse. He's got that speed and he can carry it."
Left: Patternrecognition walks over before the race. Brown added, "Because he's had so many interruptions in his schedule, I was always trying to bridge him to a longer race off a sprint and it was always hard to get there because he always had a setback. Finally, he got very sound, to where I could train him consistently and get him out to that mile distance where his father [Adios Charlie] was very effective, as well. I'm very proud of the judgment Jose used today. I left it up to him and the fractions concerned me a touch, but this horse showed his heart."
Right: Patternrecognition in the post parade.
Left: Jose Ortiz says a prayer after winning the Cigar Mile (G1).
Right: Second place finisher True Timber walks over before the race. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "We're very happy with the way he ran and how everything went. Joe [Bravo] rode him great and he ran super. We were pleasantly surprised. That was a great effort, so we have options going forward."
Left: Third place finisher Sunny Ridge in the post parade. The 6-1 fourth choice sat 3 1/2 lengths off the pace in 6th early under Irad Ortiz Jr. then rallied to get third beaten 1 3/4 lengths. The Jason Servis trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 5 seconds, and 4 thirds in 21 starts, earning $1,178,902 for owner-breeder Dennis Drazin.
Right: Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Mendelssohn returns after the race. T.J. Comerford, assistant to trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "It's been a long year for him, I don't really know. Ryan [Moore] was just a little bit disappointed with him today. He didn't jump like he normally does, so maybe it's just been a long year. He's normally more enthusiastic about jumping himself, so I suppose Ryan just rode him as he found him today." He has since been retired.
Marley's Freedom and Come Dancing duel down the stretch in the Go For Wand
Jockey Jose Ortiz sent 20-1 longest shot Browse to the lead exiting the chute through fractions of 24.52 and 48.14 while pressed by Marley's Freedom and stalked by 10-1 Come Dancing. On the far turn Browse tired as Marley's Freedom inherited the lead through 3/4 in 1:12.14, setting up a duel to the line with Come Dancing for the entire length of the stretch. However, under confident handling by Mike Smith through 7f in 1:23.86, Marley's Freedom got her neck in front at the finish in 1:37.50. It was a long 6 3/4 lengths back to Pacific Wind third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Marley's Freedom Smith 3.10 2.70 2.10 7 Come Dancing Velazquez 6.20 3.50 8 Pacific Wind Ortiz Jr. 2.50 Winning Time: 1:37.50 $1 Exacta 1-7 11.00 $1 Trifecta 1-7-8 35.74 $1 Superfecta 1-7-8-4 106.00Results Chart
Left: Marley's Freedom in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Mike Smith said, "Today was the first time going a mile, but she took a breath of air and once she got that second wind, she locked in and she wasn't going to let them by no matter what. We could have went around there again and they weren't getting by her. When they give you that sign, that one [Come Dancing] ain't going to beat you. Someone might come from way on the outside, but that one ain't going to get you. She ran awesome."
Right: Marley's Freedom heads back to the barn. Smith added, "That's been a tendency with her at times and that's what cost her the Breeders' Cup (Filly and Mare Sprint). She literally slipped so bad, and then kind of stumbled, it took her four or five jumps to get up and I got beat a half a length. Otherwise, I think she wins the Breeders' Cup. Not taking anything away from Shamrock Rose, they ran huge, but I got beat half a length and I got hung so far out. I spotted them three lengths leaving there and got beat half a length."
Left: Second place finisher Come Dancing in the post parade. Jockey John Velazquez said, "From the beginning, I tried to get the horse off the lead and try to make a run with her. I think it worked out, it was just that the other horse was a little better than us. I thought I had her. From the 3/8 pole, I was next to her and thought 'I got her.' I got to the quarter-pole and put my head right in front of them and said, 'well, I got her,' and the horse came back again."
Right: Third place finisher Pacific Wind in the post parade. The 4-1 second choice sat 5th 2 1/2 lengths off the pace under Irad Ortiz Jr. and passed tired horses to finish third beaten 7 lengths. The Chad Brown trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 1 second, and 4 thirds in 13 starts, earning $450,545 for owners Sharon Alesia, Ciaglia Racing LLC, Peter Brant, and Dominic Savides.
Maximus Mischief leads in the stretch in the Remsen Stakes
60-1 outsider Gladiator King was quickest away through an opening quarter of 25.12 before jockey Frankie Pennington sent Maximum Mischief to lead 2 wide on the clubhouse turn through fractions of 50.67 and 1:14.60, while pressed by 17-1 Tax and stalked by Gladiator King and Network Effect. Turning for home, Maximus Mischief opened up a 2 1/2 length advantage over Tax through 1 mile in 1:38.48. Network Effect attempted a late rally to no avail as Maximus Mischief cruised the rest of the way to win by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:5.34. It was a 1/2 length back to Tax third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 6 Maximus Mischief Pennington 4.80 2.70 2.50 5 Network Effect Castellano 2.30 2.10 7 Tax Franco 3.80 Winning Time: 1:51.34 $1 Exacta 6-5 4.05 $1 Trifecta 6-5-7 18.60 $1 Superfecta 6-5-7-3 45.70Results Chart
Left: Maximus Mischief in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Frankie Pennington said, "Running short he was always so sharp and keen, but Butch Reid did an awesome job getting him ready for this race. He broke well. Going into the first turn he relaxed right back to me and put his ears up and I knew he was going to be good today. He's the kind of horse that will do it easy by himself, but as soon as he feels the pressure, he becomes an even better horse. When he feels that fight coming, that's what he likes."
Right: Maximus Mischief heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer Robert Reid Jr. said, "He came through in fine colors as far as I'm concerned. I was really concerned that it was a deep racetrack at Aqueduct. Parx is pretty deep, and maybe that's helped him a little bit. They've been running slow times down here. I watched the beginning of the card and I was hoping it was a little faster than that, but to go from 7f to 1 1/8, especially the way he did it, is a pretty good accomplishment. He runs the turns really well and he swaps leads really good so that's generally where he gets the drop on them. The first thing Frank said when he came off the horse was that when he went into the first turn, [Maximus Mischief] pricked his ears and settled down - and he hadn't had too many horses around him early in his career - that he wasn't worried about the horses inside or outside of him, so that's a really good sign."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Network Effect heads out to the track before the race. Jockey Javier Castellano said, "He ran good. Unfortunately, I think the pace was too slow for him today. That's just the way the race developed. I'm not disappointed with my horse. I'm really satisfied with the way he did it, and I think he's a horse that has so much talent. He's getting confident with himself and that's the third time he's run, and I like the way he finished today. I think he's looking for a little more distance."
Right: Third place finisher Tax returns after the race. The 17-1 shot stalked the pace under Manny Franco but tired in late stretch to hold third beaten 2 3/4 lengths. The Danny Gargan trainee improved his record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $48,800 for owners Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable.
The horses break from the gate for the Remsen Stakes.
Positive Spirit leads down the stretch in the Demoiselle
Jockey Jose Lezcano sent Filly Joel to the lead first time by and she set fractions of 24.16, 49.19, and 1:15.51 while pressed by Enliven and stalked by 11-1 Positive Spirit. Turning for home, Filly Joel and Enliven both tired as Positive Spirit, 4 wide around both turns under Manny Franco, swept to the front opening up a 6 length lead through 1 mile in 1:42.20. Kept to task by Franco, Positive Spirit drew off to win by 10 1/2 lengths over late-running 26-1 Afleet Destiny in 1:56.01, the slowest-ever time in stakes history. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to pacesetter Filly Joel third, while favorite Enliven checked in 5th.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Positive Spirit Franco 24.40 10.20 6.20 6 Afleet Destiny Ortiz Jr. 18.00 7.10 3 Filly Joel Lezcano 3.60 Winning Time: 1:56.01 $1 Exacta 4-6 150.00 $1 Trifecta 4-6-3 691.00 $1 Superfecta 4-6-3-7 1,933.50Results Chart
Left: Positive Spirit in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Rodolphe Brisset said, "She really changed after the race in Keeneland," Brisset said. "The light bulb really went on after she got beat. I didn't want to cut her back to a mile but I didn't have any choice. We did that, and since, she's been training well and we took a shot here. She gave us all the good signs for bringing her and it paid off. She's going to head to Payson Park mid next week. I think we'll give her 30 days. It's a good place to chill and we can come up with a plan next year. Who doesn't want to go to the Kentucky Oaks? Physically, she's a pretty big filly, but I'd love to see her develop even more in the transition between two and three. Let's take it month by month."
Right: Positive Spirit heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Manny Franco said, "I was just the pilot. She was dragging me around the entire way around. I just waited for the right moment to make a run and she was there for me. I wasn't concerned about being floated wide because on the backside we were running straight and didn't lose ground. I just kept her there so she could stay clean and she really did it easy. She took me to the front to make the lead and when I asked her she really opened up." Positive Spirit is a half-sister to 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming.
Left: Second place finisher Afleet Destiny heads out to the track before the race. The 26-1 longshot sat as far back as 7th 8 lengths off the pace under Irad Ortiz Jr, then passed tired horses 5 wide to get 2nd beaten 10 1/2 lengths. She improved her record to 1 win, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 6 starts, earning $91,450 for owner-trainer Uriah St. Lewis.
Right: Third place finisher Filly Joel in the paddock before the race. The 5-2 second choice set the early pace under Jose Lezcano but tired at the top of the lane to finish 3rd beaten 12 3/4 lengths. The Rudy Rodriguez trainee improved her record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 2 thirds in 4 starts, earning $85,350 for owner-breeder Arindel.
Left: Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Enliven. The 6-5 choice stalked the pace under Joe Bravo but came up empty into the lane to finish 5th beaten 23 lengths. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee has a record of 1 win, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 4 starts, earning $86,350 for owner-breeder Godolphin Racing LLC.
Right: The fillies break from the gate for the Demoiselle Stakes.
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