Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Pico Central, Kela Battle in Cigar Mile

Pico Central and Kela, the two best sprinters based in California, have traveled across the country to meet at Aqueduct in New York's final grade I race of 2004, Saturday's $350,000 Cigar Mile. The Cigar Mile will be the featured event on a 10-race card that includes a pair of grade II juvenile stakes, the Remsen and Demoiselle.

Gygistar, Bowman's Band Top Hadry Stakes

Grade I winner Gygistar has been established as likely favorite against nine others in the $100,000 Charles H. Hadry Stakes, one of five stakes on the undercard at Pimlico Saturday where the featured race is the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorail Dash (gr. I).

Aud Ready to Break Through in Cardinal

Willmott Stable's consistent Aud, who turned in perhaps her career-best performance last fall at Churchill Downs, looms as a narrow favorite in an overflow field of 13 entered in Saturday's $150,000-added Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) for older fillies and mares on the grass.

Runway Model Ready to Strut Down Strip for Golden Rod

Trainer Bernie Flint is now pointing Runway Model toward the Nov. 27 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. The trainer had originally planned to give the Darley Alcibiades (gr. II) winner the remainder of the year off, but said his star filly "had been tearing the barn down" since returning from the troubled third-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

Sweet Catomine May Finish Year in Starlet

Sweet Catomine, who wrapped up an apparent Eclipse Award with a resounding victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30, may try to add an exclamation point to a brilliant year with a final start in the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) on Dec. 19.

Blackdoun, Special Ring Slotted for Return

Blackdoun and Special Ring failed to handle a yielding turf course in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30, finishing seventh and thirteenth, respectively, but the race took so little out of them they could both return later this month at Hollywood Park.

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