NEWS PREVIEW

Connect Masters Older Rivals In Cigar Mile

Pennsylvania Derby winner Connect proved more than a match for his older rivals when he outlasted a game Divining Rod to win the G1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.

The Chad Brown-trained Connect was having his first start since defeating last Friday’s GI Clark Handicap winner Gun Runner in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby on September 24.
Advancing while parked four wide on the far turn, Connect hooked up with Divining Rod, third in American Pharoah’s Preakness Stakes in 2015, through a great stretch battle and just got his head down on the wire first.
“It was an exciting race and this is such a nice horse,” Brown said. “Javier Castellano really rode him good.
“He got in a battle with a real classy horse and luckily we came out on top in the photo.
“I’m real proud of this horse. He hadn’t run since the Pennsylvania Derby but he had just enough and got it done at a mile.
“Beating older horses in a race like this is a very high mark on his resume.”
Connect is the seventh individual Grade One winner by former champion Curlin, who has sired 29 stakes winners to date and stood for a fee of $150,000 this year.
Chad Brown said he will now consider starting Connect in the world's richest race, the $12 million Pegasus World Cup.
The inaugural running of the Pegasus World Cup will be run at Gulfstream Park in Florida on 28 January.
"I'm going to evaluate the horse and his prospects in a race like that while keeping him going," said Brown.
Other horses set to compete in the Pegasus World Cup include California Chrome, Arrogate, Hoppertunity, Keen Ice, Gun Runner, and Highland Reel.

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