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The $500,000, Grade 2 Cigar Mile Handicap Dec. 2 at Aqueduct is the featured race on a four-stakes card at the Big A on the final Saturday of the track’s fall meet. The day will also include the Grade 3 Go For Wand Handicap for fillies and mares and a pair of juvenile features, with the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes hosting 2-year-old colts and geldings and the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes enlisting 2-year-old fillies.

In its history, the Cigar Mile has always been an important late-season race and it has had an impact on the Eclipse Awards on several occasions, whether it was in the champion older dirt male, sprint, or 3-year-old divisions. The race was first held in 1988 when it was called the NYRA Mile. Forty Niner won the inaugural edition for Hall of Fame trainer Woody Stephens. It was subsequently renamed to honor the 1994 winner, Hall of Famer Cigar. Other notable winners through the years have included Quiet American (1990), Rubiano (1991), Congaree (2002, 2003), Discreet Cat (2006), Kodiak Kowboy (2009), Flat Out (2013), Tonalist (2015), and Maximum Security (2019). Mind Control won last year’s edition in the final race of a fine career that saw the horse earn more than $2 million.


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