Mike Pegram's Midnight Lute, winner of the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), is expected for the Nov. 24 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I), which highlights Aqueduct's Holiday Fest.
The New York Racing Association reported that trainer Bob Baffert, who won the Cigar Mile in 2000 with El Corredor and then took back-to-back runnings with Congaree in 2002-03, is expected to return with Midnight Lute, a 4-year-old son of 1998 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Real Quiet. Winner of five of 10 career starts, including the Sept. 1 Forego Handicap (gr. I) , Midnight Lute probably wrapped up the sprint championship when he won the Oct. 27 TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park.
Talented milers Daaher and Tasteyville are among those expected to face Midnight Lute, while Xchanger, Diamond Stripes, and Istan are possible, NYRA officials said.
Along with the Cigar Mile, a pair of important races for 2-year-olds are set for Nov. 24: the $200,000 Remsen (gr. II) and the $200,000 Demoiselle (gr. II), both at nine furlongs.
The Remsen could match promising juveniles colts Atoned, Big Truck, Court Vision, Giant Moon, Spring Road, and Z Fortune, while the Demoiselle, for fillies, could attract Be Fruitful, Elusive Lady, Expect the End, Meriwether Jessica, Sunday Elegance, and Sunday Holiday.
The Nov. 24 includes the $100,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs. Xchanger could start in the race instead of the Cigar Mile. If he does, he could face Buffalo Man, Dr. V’s Magic, Now a Victor, Shopton Lane, and possibly Notice Me Now and Pick Six.