11/27/2011 10:14PM

Cigar Mile day at the Big A


A photographic look at racing at Aqueduct on a picture-perfect November 26, when four horses added major stakes victories to their resumes: Disposablepleasure won the G2 Demoiselle, O'Prado Again the G2 Remsen, To Honor and Serve the G1 Cigar Mile and champion Awesome Feather the G1 Gazelle.

Above and below:  Welcome to Aqueduct, home of the winter hair cut (above) and a spiffy new face due to the addition of a casino (below).

Above and below:  In the second race - a 2-year-old maiden - Scat About (Scat Daddy-Miss Louisiana, by Miswaki) bided his time the first time past the stands.  He and Junior Alvarado swept to a narrow victory (below).

Above:  Scat About leaving the winner's circle.

Above and below:  The fifth race, also a 2-year-old maiden event, was won by Junebugred (Corinthian - Dixie Melody, by Dixieland Band) and Ryan Curatolo. 

Above and below:  Let the stakes races begin!  Disposablepleasure before the sixth race, the Demoiselle.  

Above:  Second-place finisher Wildcat's Smile.

Above:  Wee Party, Disposablepleasure and Awalkinthemoonlight break from the gate for the Demoiselle.

Above and below:  Whoopsie...I hate when that happens!  Disposablepleasure and Ramon Dominguez get a good look at the track.

Above:  Makes you wonder just what Ramon is thinking at that very moment.

Above:  Wildcat's Smile, Brown Eyed Nance and Captivating Lass at the Demoiselle break.

Above:  Disposablepleasure sets off after the field.

Above and below:  Disposablepleasure (right) and Wildcat's Smile battle to the wire in the Demoiselle.

Above:  I wonder which jock thought he'd won?

Above and below:  It's inquiry time, and Disposablepleasure's connections - Todd Pletcher, Ramon Dominguez and John Greathouse, Jr., at right - await the stewards' decision.

Above:  Todd Pletcher's assistant Whit Beckman (Todd Pletcher in background), during the inquiry.

Above:  The price of victory, a grabbed right front quarter, for Disposablepleasure.  Below:  After the stewards let the victory stand, a proud John Greathouse, Jr. led his filly to the winner's circle.

Above:  Winning owner John Greathouse, Jr., of Glencrest Farm.

Above and below:  Among the contestants in the Remsen, the second stakes on the card, was 2-year-old Stephanoatsee (below, with Ramon Dominguez up).  What makes this boy unusually interesting (at least to me) is the fact that he's a half-brother to Shackleford.

Above:  Stephanoatsee, by A.P. Indy - Oatsee by Unbridled.

Above:  Souper Speedy (Indian Charlie - Speed Succeeds by Gone West).

Above and below:  O'Prado Again (El Prado - Leh She Run by Pulpit), trained by Dale Romans.

Above and below:  Among the other Remsen contestants were El Padrino, above, and Speightscity, below.

Above:  The Remsen start.

Above:  Souper Speedy and El Padrino, on their way in the Remsen.

Above:  El Padrino, such a flashy colt.

Above:  With quite a battle to the wire, O'Prado Again (right) got to there first.  Souper Speedy ran second and El Padrino was third.

Above:  O'Prado Again and Kent Desormeaux are the winners, as runner-up Jose Lezcano, on Souper Speedy, takes a look over.  

Above:  Souper Speedy didn't win, but he looked nice in this remote.

Above and below:  O'Prado Again, with Kent Desormeaux aboard.  Donegal Racing's Jerry Crawford, below, took a time out to talk with his beautiful colt after the race.  O'Prado Again is ridden by Desormeaux, owned by Donegal Racing and trained by Dale Romans - the same trio connected with Paddy O'Prado.

Above:  The coolest boots in the race (by far), worn by Timothy Thornton.

Above:  O'Prado Again heads to the test barn.

Above and below:  Heading to the paddock for the Cigar Mile are To Honor and Serve (above) and Hymn Book (below).  They ran 1-2.

Above and below:  Other Cigar Mile entrants included Calibrachoa (above, chewing on pony), who ran third, and Haynesfield, the occasional bad actor who was excused from the post parade.

Above:  To Honor and Serve has 'the look' in the paddock.  He went off at even-money and ran like it.

With the new casino as backdrop, 3-year-old To Honor and Serve shows his heels to his elders in the G1 Cigar Mile.

Above:  Bill Mott assistant (and To Honor and Serve's exercise rider) Rodolphe Brisset greets the new Grade I winner.

Above:  Live Oak Plantation's Charlotte Weber leads To Honor and Serve to the winner's circle.

Above:  To Honor and Serve heads back to the barn area.

Above:  Winning connections Bill Mott and Jose Lezcano discuss the race.

Above/below:  Bill Mott, including with his son Riley (below).

Above:  Jose Lezcano.

Above:  Charlotte Weber of Live Oak Plantation.

Above and below:  Among the contestants in the day's last feature, the Grade I Gazelle, were stakes winner R Gypsy Gold (above) and stakes-placed Draw It (below).  Draw It ran second.

Above:  Longshot Daring Reality wore the most interesting 'necklace.'

Above:  Daring Reality, Love and Pride, Awesome Feather and Savvy Supreme, at the start of the Gazelle.

Above: R Gypsy Gold and Miss Valentine break from the gate.

Above and below:  All eyes were on 2010 champion juvenile filly Awesome Feather, and she came through with a powerful performance under Jeffrey Sanchez for owner Stronach Stables and trainer Chad Brown.

Above:  Jeffrey Sanchez pats Awesome Feather upon their Grade I Gazelle score.  Sanchez often shows his affection for the lovely filly.

Above:  Winning trainer Chad Brown upon Awesome Feather's return to the winner's circle.

Above:  The look of a champion.

Nancy More than 1 year ago
I'm speechless, what else can I say other than thank you Barbara for these beautiful pictures of our magnificent thoroughbreds! You show case them so beautifully and capture their personalities as only you can do. Bless you and Bless them.
Bob Mayberger More than 1 year ago
Really, really nice stuff from two great people!!! :))))
Mary More than 1 year ago
Barbara, Thank you so much for the lovely pictures. Enjoyed looking at them all. Really appreciate your time and effort to post them for us. Comes very close to being there yourself. Also was a beautiful tribute "FAREWELL TO THE GENERAL." Thank you again for these awesome picture of the horses and the people!
laura More than 1 year ago
Fantastic photos Barbara! ........ Always a tense moment when horses attempt a face plant, happy to see the cut was slight! ....... Agreed, cool boots! Good to see the big A looking so good! ........ Take care.
Pam Nunn More than 1 year ago
Wow, Barbara, amazing photos as usual! What a great story in Disposablepleasure!! And I love Timothy Thornton boots!
Deon Schnetler More than 1 year ago
Wow, stunning! Thanks Barbara
Patricia Lee More than 1 year ago
Whoever approved Barbara Livingston doing these columns is a genius ! These are so fun and captivating to look/read. Thank you.
Barbara Livingston More than 1 year ago
Patricia, Thank you so much for your very kind words. I really enjoy putting these blogs together and am so glad people enjoy them! - Barbara
Jeff T. More than 1 year ago
Barbara... your photo shoots of our favorite athletes (horses) are phenomenal. Any resulting column/blogging would be icing on the cake. You have a gift when you are around horses and they seem to know this as well. I cannot express just how much I enjoy looking at your photos. I saw a photo of Ultimate Eagle Saturday on my friend's laptop. He really loves this Mizzen Mast colt so I'm sure this is not his only photo. I don't know if you did this photo... but UE looked so majestic and strong; it was powerful. Thanks again for all that you do for our favorite sport.
Anne More than 1 year ago
I can never get enough of your wonderful pictures. As I scroll thru the photos I hope they never end.
Celeste More than 1 year ago
Thank you for another wonderful photo essay of such talented athletes and their people! I always look forward to your blogs and come back to them several times just to restore myself by enjoying the images you have captured. Thank you!