11/08/2017 12:46PM

Sprinter Mind Your Biscuits points to Cigar Mile

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mind Your Biscuits trains at Saratoga in August.

Mind Your Biscuits has earned more than $2.3 million with only one of his 18 starts coming at a distance longer than seven furlongs. We'll find out if he can go farther in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on Dec. 2 at Aqueduct.

Last Saturday at Del Mar, Mind Your Biscuits closed strongly but ran out of real estate to finish third, beaten three lengths, in the six-furlong Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He flew home from California on Tuesday to rejoin trainer Chad Summers at Belmont Park.

“I think we kind of got hurt by the short stretch at Del Mar,” Summers said. “I’m disappointed he didn’t win, but I was proud of his effort. I know the Cigar is a handicap and he’s unproven at a mile, but I’ve personally always thought he would be better going farther.”

Mind Your Biscuits finished third to Drefong in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita and went on to win the Grade 1 Malibu in December. He scored his richest career wins by taking the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen in March and the $350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship in July.

“He did well last year coming out of the Breeders’ Cup, so we’re going to go on with him,” Summers said. “He came out of his race super. On Sunday, he looked like a picture.”

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The Cigar Mile has been pushed back a week from its traditional Thanksgiving weekend spot on the calendar and follows the Breeders’ Cup by four weeks.

Summers acknowledges he’s taking a chance by stretching out Mind Your Biscuits.

“It’s tough to change things at this point because he has done so well sprinting, but there are a couple of different reasons I want to try it,” Summers said. “The extra week between the Breeders’ Cup and the Cigar is huge. I think it makes all the difference. Also, he won his maiden at Aqueduct, and I think he’s going to love the track.”

Other possibilities for the Cigar Mile at this early juncture include Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Diversify; Bold Ruler winner Tom’s Ready; Practical Joke, who is unbeaten in his career around one turn; and Summer Revolution, who recently returned from a long layoff with a stylish optional-claiming win.

Mind Your Biscuits, who is scheduled to stay in training as a 5-year-old in 2018, is part of a stellar group of New York-breds this year.

In addition to Mind Your Biscuits and Diversify, the class of 2017 includes Bar of Gold, who won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint last weekend for trainer John Kimmel, and Highway Star, a three-time graded winner in New York this season for trainer Rodrigo Ubillo.

A Cigar Mile win would be a great way for the state’s breeding industry to end the year.

“We’d be happy to wave that banner a little bit,” Summer said.