Ozone Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Flat Out, ridden by Junior Alvarado, came wide off the final turn and drove to victory in Saturday's $500,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.
The 10-horse field featured a pair of Breeders' Cup winners Groupie Doll and Goldencents, who were racing for a purse of $1 million. Flat Out and the other Grade 1 race winners were competing in the Cigar Mile for a gross purse of $750,000.
Setting the pace was Private Zone with Goldencents in second. Groupie Doll, the 5-1 third pick, and Flat Out were running off the pace, but within contact of the leaders. Also in the field and racing near the lead was Wood Memorial and Haskell winner Verrazano who went off as the 7-2 second choice behind 3-1 favorite Goldencents.
Private Zone, with Martin Pedroza riding, took the field up the backstretch and into the far turn with Goldencents in second. Flat Out, sent off at 6-1, came wide around the final turn and into the stretch.
Trained by Bill Mott, Flat Out drove through the stretch to draw even with Private Zone and go on to register a 1 1/4-length win.
"This horse, I can't say enough about him," said Mott. "He's just been a real tough, durable horse, a horse that I've always felt may be as good at a flat mile as he is at 10 furlongs. Although he has won the Jockey Club Gold Cup twice at 10 furlongs, (he's) versatile enough to get up and get the job done at a mile."
Private Zone held on for second followed by Verrazano, Groupie Doll, Clearly Now, Forty Tales, Goldencents, Saratoga Snacks, Laugh Track and Capo Bastone. Praetereo was an early scratch.
Flat Out covered the one-turn mile on a fast track in 1:34.68.
"I put him in the race and made sure he wasn't too far back," said Alvarado. "I had a perfect trip. I couldn't ask for anything better than that. For him, I think it was the dream trip - on the outside, clear, nothing bothering him, the speed was going very fast in front. When I asked him, he definitely gave me all he had. He's a very nice horse, and he made a very nice run."
Owned by Preston Stables, Flat Out notched his third win of the year from nine starts and put his career mark at nine wins in 29 starts. The $450,000 earned brings Flat Out's seasonal earnings to $1.1 million and his lifetime bankroll stands at $3,645,383.
The 7-year-old won the Suburban Handicap on July 6 at Belmont Park to go along with his win of the Westchester Handicap on April 27. Flat Out was making his first start after finishing eighth to Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders' Cup Classic four weeks ago.
Flat Out returned $15.00, $8.10 and $5.20. Private Zone paid $28.20 and $18.40, and Verrazano paid $4.40 to show.