2018 Cigar Mile
A field of eight will contest the one-turn mile event over the outer dirt at the Big A, and the much-hyped Mendelssohn will lead the way from the rail post as the 2/1 morning line favorite, depsite losing his last five starts.
Breaking down the field
Mendelssohn is a really nice racehorse, but I’ve always thought him a bit overrated. As I study this group, I don’t see any clear advantages for the Aidan O’Brien runner, who will have his hands full with several of the top contenders here.
Before I get into a more thorough handicapping discussion, here’s the field at a glance:
- Mendelssohn 2/1
- Sunny Ridge 9/2
- Pat On the Back 15/1
- Stan the Man 30/1
- Copper Town 5/2
- True Timber 12/1
- Timeline 10/1
- Patternrecognition 7/2
Bettors will be drawn to Copper Town, and frankly, I can’t blame them. This lightly-raced colt has shown flashes of brilliance in four career starts, winning all but his debut.
Most impressively, perhaps, Copper Town returned from a 341-day layoff to easily best allowance foes October 13 at Keeneland. That six and a half furlong race sets him up nicely for this spot, and it’s worth noting that he’s already won both starts at a mile and over. Trainer Todd Pletcher connects at an elite 22% with runners returning to make their second start off a layoff of 31-60 days.
Sunny Ridge and Timeline look like logical contenders for an exacta/trifecta finish along with the favored Mendelssohn
Bottom line pick
I don’t see much value in playing vertically (exacta, tri, super) in this spot, so I’m going to hope that bettors are deceived by the Mendelssohn effect again and allow Copper Town to go to post at greater than 8/5. I’d glady take that price on a budding superstar.
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