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Aqueduct Racetrack Notes - November 23

By NYRA Press Office | 11/23/2013 04:16 PM ET
Verrazano_Wk_Inside
Verrazano
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese

  • "Todd Squad" breezes for November 30 stakes
  • Cairo Prince works for G2 Remsen, Wedding Toast for G3 Comely
  • Special post times for Thanksgiving weekend

Trainer Todd Pletcher's trio of contenders for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap took to Belmont Park's training track this morning in their final serious moves for next Saturday's race.

Working in company with Galloping Giraffe, Forty Tales was clocked in 49.10 seconds shortly after the first renovation break at 8 a.m. Capo Bastone and Verrazano went together after the second break, with Capo Bastone caught in 48.87 and Verrazano, under jockey Javier Castellano, timed in 48.86.

Pletcher also sent Grade 3 Tempted winner Stopchargingmaria out for an easy four-furlong move in 50.33 in preparation for the Grade 2 Demoiselle on the Cigar Mile undercard.

"I thought Forty Tales was good this morning," said Pletcher of the Tale of the Cat colt, runner-up to fellow Cigar Mile hopeful Clearly Now in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap. "He's normally not a horse that works real fast, but he seemed enthusiastic out there this morning, and happy.

"I thought Verrazano and Capo Bastone put in their typical 48 and change half," he added. "Both seemed relaxed, happy, and are doing well."

The dual-Grade 1 winning Verrazano, who took the Big A's Wood Memorial and the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth earlier this year, enters the Cigar Mile off a fourth-place finish behind Cigar Mile contender Goldencents in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Capo Bastone, winner of the Grade 1 Foxwoods King's Bishop, most recently was13th in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

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Working in company with Grade 1 winner Alpha, Grade 2 Nashua winner Cairo Prince completed preparations for Saturday's Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen this morning, breezing five furlongs in 1:01.08 on the training track at Belmont.

"Cairo Prince might have won the photo by a head," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin of the Pioneerof the Nile colt, who broke his maiden on October 6 in his only other start. "He looked great doing it. He's done everything right for us so far, he's been a pleasure to train, and we hope he runs well on Saturday."

Also next Saturday, McLaughlin will saddle Godolphin Stable's Wedding Toast in the Grade 3, $400,000 Comely for 3-year-old fillies. Wedding Toast, who has won three straight, went a half-mile Saturday morning in 48.01, also on the training track.

"She continues to train well," he said. "The Comely is a tough race but for $400,000 it's supposed to be a tough race. Last year we won the Gazelle [on the Cigar Mile undercard] with Dance Card; we hope Wedding Toast is as good as the Gazelle winner because Dance Card is a very nice filly."

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With six graded stakes over Thanskgiving weekend, the Big A will have special post times on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, which features the Grade 3, $300,000 Fall Highweight Handicap, post time for the first race is 11:25 a.m.

On Friday, first race post time will be noon, with the Grade 2, $300,000 Go For Wand Handicap as the featured race.

First race post time on Saturday, Cigar Mile Day, also will be noon. Supporting the Grade 1 Cigar Mile will be the Grade 3, $400,000 Comely, the Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen and the Grade 2, $400,000 Demoiselle.

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