The Cigar Mile Handicap (Grade 1)- $750.000 Purse
AQU- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile on the Inner Dirt
December 2, 2017
Mb Stables has done it again! For the 135th time, the trainer has picked up a Grade 1 victory, but this one had been one of the dwindling amount of Grade 1’s that he had not picked up a victory in to this point. His three entries were the class of the field, as he sweeps the top three positions on the board, with a dead heat for third along the way. He’s now up to 460 Graded stake triumphs total, so maybe now its time to begin the countdown to 500. As for In Captivity, this is one to watch next year, because I truly believe the best is yet to come for this one. There’s really only so much that can be said about the trainer’s accolades to this point that has not been already, so it can just seem a little repetitious at times. That is said in complete respect. Congrats though, to Mb Stables, and to the winning jockey, J R Leparoux, who won the race for the second time. The time of the win was 1:34.42, a time that can’t really be fairly compared to others, since it was the first time the race was run on the inner dirt of the virtual AQU. Let’s take a look at the race!
(1/4 Mile- :23.32)- There was no one in the field that seemed to be particularly fired out of the gate in an aggressive manner, but as the field moved into the turn, there were three that seemed to be a little more ambitious. Of that group, it would be the excessively high priced longshot Apocazeus jumping out to the front for D J C Racing Stables and having his few supporters in the grandstands screaming for the race to end now. A length behind him, both Silver Dancer (Night Rider Stables) and Mancini (Our Athletes) were right there. Nearby in stalking positions, were Moon Landing and Enshrined, both out of Mb Stables. Edwin Drood, carrying extra weight for Sanny Village, stalked the stakers, and had Clouseau (John Henry) exploring the scene to his outside. Our eventual winner, In Captivity ran in eighth, and was about five lengths from the lead and did not really have anyone running alongside him early. At the back and hoping to close would be Track Bound (Luz International), Friends Of A Feather (Royalty Racing), and Red Matic (Witeout Stables). It’s possible that Friends Of A Feather could have missed the break at the start.
(½ Mile- :46.51)- Not a ton of movement in the field as they go down the backstretch, but don’t tell that to Enshrined, who uses his outside lane to go all the way to the front, and eventually pull out to a length advantage. Others who had been at the front do not contest this, so now Apocazeus runs second with both Silver Dancer and Mancini in a good stalking position running third and fourth. As they moved towards the turn, Edwin Drood began to move to the outside to look for his lane to make his move, and Clouseau began to fade out of it. In Captivity made slight progress, and it was enough to put him within a length of Edwin Drood. Those in the back were not yet making a move.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- The field now begins to tighten up, significantly. Enshrined is still leading, but now seems to be clinging to his advantage as Silver Dancer looked to get by to his outside. There was room for Mancini to split these two if he had the legs underneath him to do so. Apocazeus was still on the rail, but looked to be tiring now, and Moon Landing started to make a move to his outside. Meanwhile, Edwin Drood was full of run on the outside, going five wide and was just two lengths back. In Captivity was just under three lengths back here, but there was a clear lane in front of him for him to exploit, and J R Leparoux would need to pounce on that and bring him through. While all this was going on, the rail really opened up, and Friends Of A Feather came through with authority. If he could sustain this run and not run into the back of Apocazeus, he had a great shot. Clouseau seemed to be lacking response at this point. The others in the back, Red Matic and Track Bound had gotten themselves a bit closer, but still needed to do a lot more in order to be a threat.
(Finish- 1:34.42)- Heading down the stretch, it looked like Enshrined could be able to hold them off, but with a furlong to go, that effort would not be good enough. Fortunately for the trainer, it was another one of his entries making the biggest move, as In Captivity proved to be the best in the stretch, and would take the race over. Not only did he take the lead, but he would actually end up winning this by a full lengths. Behind him, there was a tight five-way photo for second. All five of these could have finished second in this race, but after a close study of the photo, it was determined that Moon Landing was ever so slightly ahead of the others to get second. However, the stewards could not declare a sole winner of third place, and proclaimed a dead heat between Enshrined and Silver Dancer. They were just a smidgeon ahead of Friends Of A Feather, who had to check in the stretch a bit. He slightly held an edge over the sixth place Edwin Drood, who was about six wide. Go back another length, and it was just as tight between four more for seventh, with Mancini holding off Red Matic, Clouseau, and Track Bound. Despite finishing 7th-10th, they were only three lengths out. Apocazeus was last but more competitive then that finish will imply.
About The Winner: In Captivity, trained by Mb Stables, and ridden by J R Leparoux, is a three year old gelding by Square Edge, and out of the late Pacific Belle. He was bred in Florida by Mb Stables as a second quarter two year old, and they have been together throughout. Congratulations to the connections! The win was his fifth in eleven starts, his third stake win, but first graded win. His career earnings are now $675.230.
Time: :231 :462 1:094 1:342
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 8 – 1 Paid 117.70
$1 Trifecta: 8 – 1 – 7 Paid 838.10, 8 – 1 – 11 Paid 838.10
Scratched: Out On A Limb
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES