Updated on 11/10/2013 12:31PM

Goldencents points to Cigar Mile in Eclipse Award bid

Tom Keyser
Goldencents, winner of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, will run next in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The partnership that owns Goldencents, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1, has been reduced from four partners to two, and the 3-year-old will start in the $500,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 30.

Owner Glenn Sorgenstein said Thursday that he and partner Josh Kaplan have privately purchased the ownership shares of Dave Kenney and Rick Pitino, the University of Louisville basketball coach. The four men owned Goldencents through the BC Dirt Mile.

If Goldencents starts in the Cigar Mile, he would be racing for an enhanced purse.

The New York Racing Association has a clause in the race conditions stating that a Breeders’ Cup winner will run for a winner’s share of a $1 million purse. A Grade 1 winner will run for a winner’s share of a purse of $750,000.

Sorgenstein said a start in the Cigar Mile will be a chance to showcase Goldencents to East Coast racing fans in an attempt to attract support for the Eclipse Award as the champion 3-year-old male of 2013. Goldencents won the Santa Anita Derby in April, but was winless in five subsequent starts until the BC Dirt Mile.

The division leader for the 3-year-old male title is Will Take Charge, who was second by a nose in the BC Classic on Nov. 2. Will Take Charge won the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga in August.

Sorgenstein said a win in New York could help attract attention to Goldencents.

“We believe we have the best 3-year-old in the country,” Sorgenstein said. “We won a Breeders’ Cup race. We didn’t finish second.

“He looked like he didn’t run the night of the race. He looked like he didn’t run the day after the race. He’s been full of energy and ready to go to the track.”

Trained by Doug O’Neill, Goldencents has won 5 of 12 starts and earned $1,990,000.

Private Zone likely for Hong Kong Sprint

O’Neill said Thursday that Private Zone, 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, is likely to run in the $1.9 million Hong Kong Sprint on turf at Sha Tin on Dec. 8.

Owned by Good Friends Stable, Private Zone was beaten 6 1/4 lengths by Secret Circle in the BC Sprint, racing as close as second on the backstretch.

“It was a head scratcher,” O’Neill said. “He didn’t fire.”

Private Zone has won 5 of 20 starts and $513,820. He won the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 28 and was the 3-1 second choice in the 12-runner BC Sprint.