Thoroughbred Racing

 
                     === Cigar Mile features classy field ===
 
 Ozone  Park, NY  (Sports Network) - It  may be late in the 2012 racing season,
 but Saturday's $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct has a field of seven that would
 rival any mid-year stakes.
 
 Included  in the  field are current Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner
 Groupie  Doll,  Donn Handicap champ  Hymn Book,  2010 Cigar Mile winner Jersey
 Town, 2011 Travers winner Stay Thirsty and Coil, winner of last year's Haskell
 Invitational.
 
 Groupie  Doll, trained and  co-owned by Buff Bradley, is the only filly in the
 race,  but has  been  made the  8-5  morning line  favorite  off her  decisive
 Breeders' Cup victory at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
 
 "I  wasn't looking  for another  race for  her; I  wasn't looking  for a  race
 against boys," said Bradley.
 
 The  4-year-old  chestnut filly was  the 7-10  favorite in the 10-horse Sprint
 field.  Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, who has Saturday's mount, Groupie Doll stalked
 the  pace in  the seven-furlong stakes and  went on to register a 4 1/2-length
 win in a time of 1:20.72.
 
 Set  to  break from  the outside  post in  the Cigar,  Groupie Doll was second
 against  males in  a Gulfstream Park optional claimer in January followed by a
 pair of thirds in Gulfstream stakes.
 
 The  filly,  who was  bred by  Bradley and his  father, won Keeneland's Vinery
 Madison  and Churchill Downs' Humana Distaff in the spring. After a four month
 rest,  Groupie  Doll captured the  Presque Isle Downs Masters and Thoroughbred
 Club of America Stakes.
 
 Hymn Book has drawn post five with Joel Rosario riding for owner Stuart Janney
 and  trainer  Shug McGaughey.  Kept out  of the  Breeders' Cup, the 6-year-old
 gelding  is coming off  a win in the Pancho Martin Stakes at Belmont Park last
 month.
 
 "He had a good race and came out of it good, and if the race develops in front
 of  him, he'll be  fine. I have all the respect in the world for Groupie Doll,
 but she's a filly against colts and she has to ship," McGaughey said.
 
 Hymn  Book, 6-1 in the program, was second in last year's Cigar Mile behind To
 Honor  and Serve  and  came back  in  February  to win  the  Donn Handicap  at
 Gulfstream.  However, he  remained winless until taking last month's stakes at
 Belmont.
 
 Jersey  Town, trained by Barclay Tagg for Charles Fipke, is the 4-1 third pick
 for  the  Cigar even with  one win this year.  The 6-year-old will have Javier
 Castellano riding.
 
 The  chestnut horse's lone  victory this year came in the Kelso at Saratoga by
 3  1/2-lengths over  Shackleford. He was fifth to Tapizar in the Breeders' Cup
 Dirt Mile at odds of 9-2.
 
 "The  whole Breeders' Cup was weird," said Tagg. "There were two horses picked
 over  him (sixth-place finisher Emcee and seventh-place finisher Shackleford).
 He  beat both of  them, and yet he didn't get anything. I don't think he liked
 the  two  turns particularly. They're tight,  little turns there, and maybe he
 didn't like them."
 
 Trainer  Todd  Pletcher will saddle  Mike Repole's  Stay Thirsty for the Cigar
 with  the  4-year-old colt breaking from  the inside post with Ramon Dominguez
 riding.
 
 "It  would  be a huge  win for him,"  Pletcher said of  the Cigar Mile. "For a
 horse  that's already accomplished a lot, especially a Travers winner, to also
 show the versatility to win at a mile would be a feather in his cap."
 
 Stay  Thirsty is  looking for his first  win since claiming both the Jim Dandy
 and Travers at Saratoga last year. He set the pace in the Jockey Club Gold Cup
 two months ago before losing by a head to Flat Out.
 
 Trainer  Bob  Baffert ships  Coil to  Aqueduct from  California for the colt's
 first East Coast start since winning last year's Haskell at Monmouth Park. The
 4-year-old,  owned  by Mike  Pegram, is  8-1 in  the morning  line and will be
 ridden by Martin Garcia from post six.
 
 Coil  captured the Santa Anita Sprint Championship over Capital Account before
 finishing  seventh in the Breeders' Cup Sprint to Trinniberg. In August he was
 second to Capital Account in the Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar.
 
 Completing the field are Associate (20-1) and Buffum (6-1).
 
 
 
 
 
 11/23 11:03:54 ET

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