The final Super Saturday held by the New York Racing Association will be headlined by the Cigar Mile Handicap, an elite, GR1 stakes race. The race sees the return of Private Zone who won the dirt mile last year. He will defend his title against some of the bigger names in the sport.
Private Zone certainly feels like the horse to beat simply by virtue of experience. This will be his third running of the Cigar Mile Handicap. He placed in 2013 behind Flat Out.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in the field will be Tonalist, most well known for his 2014 Belmont Stakes victory. Tonalist has had an impressive campaign in 2015, winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Westchester Handicap. In the latter race, he was able to avenge a previous loss to Effinex. At some point, the four-year old product of Christophe Clement is going to revisit the form that has made him a major stakes winner four times over. The Cigar Mile Handicap very much feels like his to lose in the eyes of many.
Tonalist will be joined by his stablemate Red Vine, also trained by Clement. With 98 wins on the year so far in 2015, Clement seems very confident in bringing two of his biggest guns. They have reportedly trained very well together and both will give Clement a chance to improve on what’s already been his best, personal year as a trainer in the win column. The double down by Clement is certainly a wise one as Red Vine finished third behind Lea and Liam’s Map at the BC Dirt Mile this year.
Giving Tonalist a run for his money will be the most interesting horse in the posts. That honour belongs to Mshawish, who will make his debut on dirt after a check at the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Mshawish will be a natural box stuffer for most looking to bank in on his pedigree. As the son of Medaglia d’Oro, Mshawish has big horse shoes to fill, and will test those out on dirt for the very first time this Saturday.
Tonalist, Mshawish and Private Zone will compete for an enhanced purse of $750,000 while all others in the race will compete for $500,000.
The Remsen (G2) is also featured on Super Saturday at the Aqueduct, and will be headlined by Mohaymen, the recent winner of the Nashua (G2). Since the Remsen is one of the early Road to the Kentucky Derby 2016 prep races, Mohaymen will certainly draw major interest. He is already being slated as one of the early front runners for the derby, and remains the best option for your card this Saturday at the Aqueduct.