Speightstowns finish 1st & 2nd in Cigar Mlle
Monday, November 29, 2010
When trainer Barclay Tagg talked owner Charles Fipke out of running Jersey Town in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, it was with the idea that the Grade 1 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile would come up an easier spot.

Much to Tagg's surprise, Saturday's $250,000 Cigar Mile came up extremely tough, with four horses exiting Breeders' Cup races. In the end, however, Jersey Town proved tougher prevailing by a head over Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Haynesfield despite drifting out in the stretch. It was one-half length back to Girolamo in third.

It was the first stakes win of any kind for Jersey Town, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Speightstown out of the Grade 1 winner Jersey Girl.

For Tagg and Fipke, it was their second victory in the Cigar Mile, having won it in 2008 with Tale of Ekati, who got placed first by the stewards. Jersey Town, who finished second to Bribon in the Bold Ruler, was the longest shot on the board at 34-1, returning $71.50. He ran a mile in 1:34.53. Bribon, who was the 3-1 favorite in the Cigar Mile, finished fourth.

Jersey Town broke on top, but was reined by Cornelio Velasquez to sit third as Vineyard Haven ran a quarter in 22.69 seconds and a half-mile in 45.27 while being pressed by Haynesfield, under Javier Castellano. Turning into the stretch, Haynesfield took the lead from Vineyard Haven, but Jersey Town was in hot pursuit.

At the eighth pole it looked like Jersey Town was going to go by Haynesfield easily, but the New York-bred Haynesfield was game along the rail while Jersey Town began to drift out. Despite that drifting, Jersey Town prevailed.

"The last three-sixteenths I had a lot of horse," Velasquez said. "I asked him and my horse he passed that other horse. Today, he wanted to win. [Haynesfield] run a big race too."

Said Castellano of Haynesfield, "He fought all the way to the wire, he didn't want to get beat. Unfortunately, the other horse was a little better."

It was a long road to Grade 1 glory for Jersey Town, who won his first start for a claiming price of $25,000 in March 2009. After racing with modest success in New Jersey for Tagg, Jersey Town was sent out west to run in the British Columbia Derby at Hastings Park, where he finished second for trainer Barbara Heads.

Upon returning to Tagg, Jersey Town suffered a hind leg fracture that required some time off. Fipke then elected to send the horse west again, where he won an allowance race and finished second in the Longacres Mile for trainer Tim McCanna.

When Fipke sent the horse back to Tagg, he wanted the trainer to run him in a prep race and then Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Tagg talked him out of that.

"I said, 'Let's go to the Cigar Mile. It'd be a lot easier and it's still a Grade 1,' and they were thinking of trying to make a stallion out of him," said Tagg, who ran the horse in the Kelso and Bold Ruler. "He was all for it, then it came up so tough I thought, 'Boy, we made a mistake here.' "

It was not a mistake at all.

"He's all business - he just goes out there with his game face on everyday and does his job, no fooling around," Tagg said. "He does everything the way you like a horse to do it."

Tagg was unsure whether Fipke would retire Jersey Town or bring him back to race next year.
Aquamarine a worthy Keeneland allowance winner title=
Gemologist

Aquamarine a worthy Keeneland allowance winner

Gemologist's 3-year-old colt Aquamarine made his first start for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas April 22 at Keeneland and came away a half-length winner...

[read more]

Bodemeister filly blazes the way over Santa Anita turf title=
Bodemeister

Bodemeister filly blazes the way over Santa Anita turf

Kenda stormed home over the Santa Anita Park turf course stretch to break her maiden by 1 1/2-lengths on April 21....

[read more]

WinStar & Don Alberto purchase Kentucky Derby contender Battle of Midway title=

WinStar & Don Alberto purchase Kentucky Derby contender Battle of Midway

WinStar Farm & Don Alberto Stable have partnered to purchase Santa Anita Derby (G1) runner-up Battle of Midway from Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm, and the 3-year-old son of Smart Strike will continue to be trained by Jerry Hollendorfer as the colt prepares for a start in the May 6th Kentucky Derby (G1)...

[read more]

Overanalyze sires first winner in $100,000 MdSpWt at Aqueduct title=

Overanalyze sires first winner in $100,000 MdSpWt at Aqueduct

WinStar Farm’s Overanalyze, the Grade 1-winning millionaire by Dixie Union, sired his first winner on Thursday when 2-year-old colt Analyze the Odds drew off to an impressive 4 ½-length debut victory in a $100,000 Maiden Special Weight race at Aqueduct...

[read more]

Classic Empire prevails in Arkansas Derby (G1) thriller title=
Pioneerof the Nile

Classic Empire prevails in Arkansas Derby (G1) thriller

With his victory in Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), Classic Empire made an emphatic statement that the son of Pioneerof the Nile will be a formidable foe in the May 6 Kentucky Derby (G1)...

[read more]

Super Saver's Inside Straight takes down big money in Oaklawn Hdcp. (G2) title=
Super Saver

Super Saver's Inside Straight takes down big money in Oaklawn Hdcp. (G2)

Inside Straight's stirring stretch run took him past Midnight Storm and into the winner's circle in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) on Saturday afternoon at Oaklawn Park...

[read more]

Super Saver 3YO dominates Howard B. Noonan S. for first black type win title=
Super Saver

Super Saver 3YO dominates Howard B. Noonan S. for first black type win

Coincidentally, a WinStar Farm and Blazing Meadows Farm homebred by Super Saver, powered his way to a six-length victory in Saturday's $75,000 Howard B. Noonan S...

[read more]

American Patriot soars to victory in Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile title=

American Patriot soars to victory in Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile

WinStar Farm's homebred 4-year-old colt American Patriot turned in his best race to date in Friday's $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland...

[read more]

Star Breeder of the Month: Todd and Chad Frederick and Phoenix Farm

Star Breeder of the Month: Todd and Chad Frederick and Phoenix Farm

Todd and chad Frederick and Phoenix Farm are WinStar's Star Breeder of the month. They were...

[read more]

Macagone chalks up third career stakes win title=
Artie Schiller

Macagone chalks up third career stakes win

Artie Schiller's veteran turf stakes winner Macagone took the second straight running of Aqueduct's $100,000 Danger's Hour S. on Sunday...

[read more]