Cigar Smokes Field, Puts On Show For Big Bettors
Cigar put on a show of grace and power Saturday and made some big show bettors very happy in winning the Woodward at Belmont Park.
So did the filly Inside Information in winning the Ruffian Handicap, one of five other Grade I stakes on the card.
More than $1.7 million was bet on the 5-year-old Cigar to show. Inside Information attracted more than $1.5 million in show bets. Most of it was bet in Las Vegas.
Cigar, the leading candidate for Horse of the Year, won the 1-1/8-mile Woodward by 2-3/4 lengths over pace-setting Star Standard for his 10th straight victory, eight this year, since being switched from the grass to the dirt last October. Golden Larch finished third in the six-horse field.
Ridden by Jerry Bailey, Cigar took the lead turning for home and was never in any danger in the stretch run of his comeback from a 2-1/2-month layoff.
“That’s 10 in a row, but we got a couple of more to go (possibly the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 7 and definitely the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 28),” trainer Bill Mott said. “He’s a great horse and he showed it once again today.”
“My only fear was that he might be overanxious, but it was just the reverse.” Bailey said. “Pretty devastating.”
Cigar was third behind the 3-year-old Star Standard and Golden Larch down the backstretch. Then he easily passed both horses deep into the turn.
In earning $300,000 from the $500,000 purse, Cigar paid $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10 after winning in 1:47 under 126 pounds, five more than Star Standard carried. A whopping $1,798,673 was bet on Cigar to show, while $265,942 was bet on him to win and $69,043 wagered on him to place.
The minus show pool for the Woodward was $335,607, believed to be a record anywhere. The minus pool for the Ruffian was $292,796.
The 4-year-old Inside Information, won the Ruffian by 11 lengths for her fifth victory in six starts this year and paid $2.20, $2.20 and $2.10. There was $1,594,176 bet on her to show.
Not Surprising took the lead in the sprint division by winning the 7-furlong Vosburgh by a nose over You and I.
British-bred Millkom and French-bred Kaldounevees, both based in Europe, ran 1-2 in the 1-3/8-mile Man o’War on the grass.
Golden Attraction, one of trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ collection of stars, strengthened her credentials for the 2-year-old filly championship by winning the 1-mile Matron by a neck over stablemate Cara Rafaela. Maria’s Mon scored an upset in the 1-mile Futurity for 2-year-old males by 2-3/4 lengths over second betting choice Louis Quatorize. Lukas’ favored Honour and Glory was third.
Inside Information, ridden by Mike Smith, toyed with six rivals in winning the $200,000 Ruffian. She raced the 1-1/16 miles in 1:40 4-5 under 125 pounds, 18 more than runner-up Unlawful Behavior.
Millkom, making his U.S. debut and ridden
by Gary Stevens, took the lead in mid-stretch and won the $400,000 Man o’War by 1-1/4 lengths over Kaldunevees, making his second U.S. start, with Signal Tap another length back. Millkom, who finished under restraint, was timed in 2:12-4/5 and paid $18.60. Each of the 12 starters carried 126 pounds.
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