Aqueduct: Strong Handle Signals Positive Changes For Cigar Mile Day

A strong Cigar Mile Day card, highlighted by Sharp Azteca’s victory in the 29th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets, generated all-sources handle of $13,545,188, marking an 11.8 percent increase over 2016’s Cigar Mile Day, which was contested one week earlier.

For the first time, NYRA moved the Grade 1 Cigar Mile back one week from its traditional date on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, scheduling the signature race of the Aqueduct Fall meet four weeks after the Breeders’ Cup. The purse was also increased from $500,000 to $750,000.

Three Breeders’ Cup competitors – Sharp Azteca (second in the Dirt Mile), Mind Your Biscuits (third in the Sprint) and Practical Joke (fourth in the Dirt Mile) – finished first, second and third, respectively, in Saturday’s Cigar Mile.

The day’s card also included the Grade 3, $200,000 Go For Wand, which featured Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint competitor Highway Star, who finished a game second to Indulgent. In the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen, Catholic Boy, the fourth-place finisher of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, made a successful switch to dirt and romped to an impressive victory to solidify his credentials as a Kentucky Derby hopeful.

Saturday’s 10-race card also featured the return of the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5 with a mandatory payout. Featuring a low 15 percent takeout and a 50-cent minimum, the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5 is available exclusively to NYRA Bets members across the country and horseplayers on-track or at New York state simulcast facilities. On Cigar Mile Day, the popular wager paid out $30,595.50 to winning tickets.

The post Aqueduct: Strong Handle Signals Positive Changes For Cigar Mile Day appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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