Ozone Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Private Zone, ridden by Martin Pedroza,
took the lead out of the gate and was never challenged to win Saturday’s
$750,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.
Trained by Alfredo Velazquez, Private Zone broke sharply from the inside post
in the nine-horse field and immediately went to the front and controlled the
pace. Sent off at 9-2, Private Zone was stalked by 13-1 longshot Regally Ready
and 5-2 favorite Secret Circle, runner-up in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Private Zone increased his advantage down the stretch and went on to post a
five-length victory over Secret Circle with Bourbon Courage getting third.
“He was great,” the winning trainer said. “That was the way I was expecting
him to run because he was training super. I worked him here the other day and
it was (the slowest) track I have ever seen, and he worked 1:01 and 4/5
Completing the order of finish were Big Business, Vyjack, Noble Moon, Regally
Ready, Transparent and Itsmyluckyday.
The time for the Mile was 1:34.39 on a fast track.
Owned by Good Friends Stable, Private Zone tallied his seventh career win
just one year after finishing second in the Cigar Mile behind Flat Out. The 5-
year-old gelding earned $450,000 with the win and has now banked $1,521,820 in
25 lifetime starts.
The purse for the race was boosted by $250,000 because there were Grade I race
winners in the field, including Private Zone.
Private Zone was third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint behind Work All Week and
Secret Circle four weeks ago. Two months ago at Belmont Park he won his second
straight Vosburgh in just his second start of the year. His first start this
season came on Sept. 1 on the grass when he finished fourth in the Turf
Monster at Parx Racing.
Private Zone returned $11.60, $5.80 and $4.10. Secret Circle paid $4.60 and
$3.30, and Bourbon Courage paid $4.10 to show.