Bill Mott is pointing To Honor and Serve to the $250,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) Nov. 26 at Aqueduct.
Most recently, To Honor and Serve was beaten 3 1/2 lengths when finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. He entered that race off a victory in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) at Parx Racing Sept. 24.
“We thought he was doing well enough to nominate and train up to the Cigar Mile,” said Mott, who trains the 3-year-old son of Bernardini for Live Oak Plantation. “I know it’s a bit of a squeeze to come back after a race like that, but he’s feeling good, it’s a grade I, and probably the last race of the season for him.”
To Honor and Serve is two-for-two at Aqueduct with easy victories there last fall in the Nashua Stakes and Remsen Stakes (both gr. II). The Nashua, which the colt won by four lengths, was run last year at a mile, and Mott believes the distance could suit To Honor and Serve.
“I think it could be very good,” Mott said. “He’s a big horse, but he seems to be fairly quick and he has speed for his size. Shortening back from 1 1/4 miles to a mile is not usually an easy task, but it’s possible."