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Pletcher’s Cigar Mile Contenders Work at Belmont



Trainer Todd Pletcher’s three contenders for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap – Forty Tales, Capo Bastone, and Verrazano – took to the Belmont Park training track on Sunday to turn in their penultimate breezes prior to the Nov. 30 race at Aqueduct.

All three are 3-year-old colts who are seeking their first victory against older horses. In their most recent starts, Forty Tales was second in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap on Oct. 26 at Belmont, Verrazano was fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on November 1 at Santa Anita, and Capo Bastone was 13th in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

Forty Tales, a three-time graded stakes winner, breezed four furlongs in 51.40 seconds. Covering four furlongs in company later in the morning were Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop victor Capo Bastone (47.66 seconds) and Grade 1 Wood Memorial and Haskell Invitational winner Verrazano (47.67 seconds), the two fastest workouts at the distance on the training track.

“[Capo Bastone and Verrazano] been working together quite a bit,” Pletcher told NYRA Press. “We were looking for a similar type of work from both of them. I think it worked well in the past [and] just felt like it was a good match up. I thought both horses breezed really well. Both did it willingly, on the bridle, and gave me the indication they both bounced out of their Breeders’ Cup races in good order.

“Forty Tales is a little less ambitious work horse,” added Pletcher. “We thought he worked well for what he normally does.”

NYRA photo by Alcosser