From the NYRA Media Team:

Robert P. Donaldson’s Spun to Run, trained by Juan Carlos Guerrero, is the ‘now’ horse heading into Saturday’s 31st running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The rapidly-improving 3-year-old Hard Spun colt will likely lead a talented field of 11 into the turn in the Cigar Mile, a race which anchors a lucrative card at the Big A, featuring the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen for 2-year-olds, the Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle for 2-year-old fillies, the Grade 3, $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap for older fillies and mares, as well as the rescheduled $150,000 Winter Memories for sophomore fillies and the $125,000 Autumn Days for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

Carded as Race 10 with a local post time of 4:16 p.m. Eastern, the Cigar Mile will anchor a mandatory payout in the Empire 6 which boasts a jackpot of $544,158 heading into Friday’s card. The Cigar Mile Day card will be televised on a special edition of America’s Day at the Races airing on FS2 and MSG+ from 3-4:30 p.m. Eastern.

Spun to Run has garnered Beyer Speed Figures of 109 and 110 from prominent scores in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita and M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile at Parx in his last two starts. The upwardly mobile colt, who captured the Grade 3 Smarty Jones in September at Parx, has shown no signs of slowing down, having posted a pair of bullet works following his Breeders’ Cup score, including a five-furlong effort in 59.88 seconds on Saturday at Parx.

“He does it all on his own. He gallops very nice as long as the rider keeps him calm, but once he gets into the bit he’s all business and wants to work,” said Guerrero. “We have to be careful with him because he can do more than we want him to. If he sees horses in front of him, he wants to go get them.”

Spun to Run, who graduated at fifth asking, was given time to come around by Guerrero, who waited until July 20 to add blinkers on the dark bay for his Grade 1 debut in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Sent to post at odds of 34-1 in the nine-furlong test off a four-month layoff, Spun to Run performed admirably when third, 9 1/4-lengths back of Cigar Mile-rival Maximum Security.

“I knew he had the talent to go against those type of horses. It was just a matter of experience,” said Guerrero. “Talent wise – I knew he had it to run against them, but he still wasn’t one hundred percent for that race. A work is a work but a race is like five works to me.”

Spun to Run has won three of four starts following that effort, with the lone regret coming in a wide-trip when fifth, defeated just 1 1/2-lengths, in the 1 1/8-miles Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby. Saturday’s bullet breeze initially worried Guerrero, but his exercise rider convinced Guerrero his star pupil is ready to fire another triple-digit figure.

“I thought he might have went a little fast Saturday, but my rider said he was nice and relaxed to the pole. He did it on his own and he didn’t have to move a muscle,” said Guerrero.

Spun to Run will emerge from post 6 under Irad Ortiz, Jr. on Saturday, one spot outside of 3-2 morning-line favorite Maximum Security.

“He’s pumped up. He’s ready to go,” said Guerrero. “He’s a good traveling horse and will ship up to New York on the day of the race.”


Water White looks to break good in G2 Demoiselle

E.V. Racing Stable’s Water White has kept salty company in herthree career starts, but she’ll dive into deeper waters in Saturday’s Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct.

Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, who campaigned 2014 Demoiselle winner Condo Commando, the gray or roan daughter of Conveyance debuted going 6 ½ furlongs at Saratoga behind eventual Grade 2 Golden Rod-winner Finite and was subsequently a close second to Demoiselle favorite Maedean. Third time was the charm for Water White however, as she broke her maiden going a flat mile at Aqueduct last time out.

“She’s been training well and we’ve always liked her but she’s got to step up,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a chance we’re taking and it a good opportunity to give her a chance going a mile and an eighth. In the morning, she trains like she wants to go that far. It’s a tough spot, but she was second to the favorite.”

Bred in Kentucky by Richard Forbush, Water White is out of the Unbridled’s Song broodmare Uzume and was purchased for $55,000 from the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Yearling Sale.

Jockey Luis Reyes picks up the mount aboard Water White, who emerges from post 11 in the 12-horse field.


(Trainer Mark Hennig / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)

Hennig to debut well-bred Or’effice on Cigar Mile undercard

Courtlandt Farms’ Or’effice, a bay son of Medaglia d’Oro and the first foal out of four-time graded-stakes winning millionaire Grace Hall, will debut in Race 5 on Saturday’s Cigar Mile Day card, which kicks off the mandatory payout of the Empire 6.

Trainer Mark Hennig has given Donald and Donna Adam [Courtlandt Farm] reason to be excited heading into 2020, having saddled three 2-year-olds to maiden victories since September in Sonneman, Americanus and Maedean, who is listed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s Grade 2 Demoiselle.

Bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stable, Or’effice was purchased for $725,000 from the Lanes’ End consignment barn at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Or’effice will be piloted from post 8 by Luis Saez in Saturday’s one-turn mile on the Big A main track. Hennig said the bay colt, who breezed a half-mile bullet from the gate in 48.68 on Friday on the Belmont Park main track, will appreciate debuting at a longer distance.

“We thought he’d benefit going long first time out. We didn’t want to start him out sprinting,” Hennig said. “He’s got a lot of ability, but he’s just not the quickest learner. I told Mr. Adam he’s one of those that could run very well, or he could also need the experience.”

On Thursday at the Big A, Hennig raced two first-time winners for Jamie Hill and Michael McMahon’s Bourbon Lane Stable when Kid Bourbon and Bourbon Bay graduated in style.

Winning at fourth asking, sophomore Kid Bourbon defeated open company by 3 ½-lengths, while registering an 89 Beyer going a flat mile. Bourbon Bay, who steadied at the start before rallying impressively for a 2 ¼-length score, defeated his New York-bred counterpart in his second career start, garnering a 68 Beyer.

Kid Bourbon, a Kentucky-bred son of Lemon Drop Kid, will ship to Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida, where Hennig is primarily based in the winter.

Bourbon Bay could remain in New York alongside Hennig’s 20-horse string at Belmont Park for the winter.

“Kid Bourbon heads to Florida on Saturday. We’ll have to figure out what we’re doing with Bourbon Bay, but I was very pleased with them both,” Hennig said.

Bred in Kentucky by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, Kid Bourbon is out of the graded-stakes winner Top Kisser. Bourbon Bay, bred by Oak Bluff Stables and Christophe Clement, is out of the Street Sense broodmare Savvy Sassy.


Mandatory payout lined up for Empire 6 on Cigar Mile Day

Saturday’s Cigar Mile Day card will be bolstered by a mandatory payout in the Empire 6 at the Big A.

The Empire 6 will start with Race 5, a one-mile maiden event for 2-year-olds, with an approximate post time of 1:35 p.m. Eastern.

The highlight of the Aqueduct fall meet, Saturday’s 10-race card features four graded stakes worth $1.5 million in purses highlighted by the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile slated for the card’s for finale.

The Cigar Mile, featuring multiple Grade 1-winner Maximum Security and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile victor Spun to Run, will be joined by the Grade 3, $250,000 Go For Wand in Race 6, the Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle in Race 8, and Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen in Race 9, each included in the Empire 6 sequence.

The Empire 6 requires the bettor to select the first-place finisher of the final six races of the card. On non-mandatory payout days, if one unique ticket exists, then 100% of the net pool, plus the jackpot carryover if applicable, will be paid to the winner. If there is no unique wager selecting the first-place finisher in all six races, then 75% of the day’s net pool will be distributed to those who selected the first-place finisher in the greatest number of races. The remainder will be added into the jackpot and carried to the next day’s Empire 6.

The Empire 6 jackpot entering Friday’s card at Aqueduct stood at $544,158. Wagering on the Empire 6 is available on-track and on all wagering platforms including NYRA Bets.