This first weekend in December is highlighted by Aqueduct Racetrack's Grade 1 Cigar Mile, and it features as the 10th and final race on Saturday's card in New York. The Cigar Mile drew a competitive field of 10, and is joined on the card by the G2 Remsen, G2 Demoiselle and G3 Go For Wand.
Trainer Jorge Navarro's entrant Sharp Azteca, most recently second to Battle of Midway in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, is listed as the 2-1 favorite on the morning line for the Cigar Mile. At 7-2, Dirt Mile fourth-place finisher Practical Joke is the solid second choice for trainer Chad Brown. Both the sprinters Mind Your Biscuits and Tom's Ready will stretch out to a mile in this spot, while the speedy Seymourdini is likely to have first crack at the lead. Another interesting entrant is west coast shipper Americanize, winner of the listed Damascus Stakes last out at Del Mar.
The Remsen and Demoiselle, races which offer points toward the 2018 classics, have drawn fields of eight and 10 juveniles, respectively. The Demoiselle is led by Mark Casse trainee Wonder Gadot, most recently sixth in the Breeders' Cup, while the Remsen field features Street Sense colt Avery Island for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who won the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs with Enticed last weekend.
Saturday at Gulfstream Park, the $1.1 million Claiming Crown offers a competitive series of races restricted to former claiming horses.
Sunday at Los Alamitos, the G3 Bayakoa is a 1 1/16 mile contest for fillies and mares. It features last year's champion juvenile filly Champagne Room in a field of eight starters.
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