Only three 2019 Kentucky Derby preps remain stateside before the calendar turns, and trainer Greg Sacco has Red Oak Stable’s and Madaket Stables, LLC’s Mind Control under consideration for two of them.
First up is the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct Dec. 1, followed by the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile Dec. 16. It’s the race away from home that appears to fit Mind Control’s schedule best.
“The Remsen was one of the races that we were considering here at Aqueduct,” Sacco said Monday, “and it looks like we’re leaning toward the Springboard Mile at Remington. Just gives him a little bit more time in between races coming out of the Breeders’ Cup race.”
Mind Control had his second work back from the Nov. 2 race Monday morning at Belmont Park. The colt worked a “maintenance” four furlongs in company with Unbridled Mesa, another Red Oak Stable-owned 2-year-old, over the dirt training track. They hit the wire together in 51.88 before Mind Control continued to gallop out to five furlongs in 1:04.
After debuting at Delaware Park and breaking his maiden at Monmouth Park, Mind Control wired Saratoga’s Hopeful Stakes (G1), beating the highly regarded Mucho from Bill Mott’s barn. The Stay Thirsty colt was next installed as the morning line favorite in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland before scratching the morning of the race with a fever. He flew back to his New Jersey base, then returned to Kentucky for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
“He had a little tough trip there at the break and lost positioning,” Sacco said. “But other than that, which is part of racing, he came out great. He’s doing all the right things. His appetite’s great. His energy level is there. We look for him to rebound in the next race.”
Mind Control was in last turning for home in the Breeders’ Cup and got through enough traffic to finish seventh. With all the travel between states, Sacco wants to give him the extra two weeks until the Springboard Mile. In addition to the timing, the Springboard Mile’s larger purse is another attraction.
Both the Remsen and the Remington race offer Derby qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the Top 4 finishers.
If Mind Control’s next race goes well, Sacco said connections will begin to put a 3-year-old plan together on the Derby trail, although no specific races have been named yet.
“After his next race, he could go home for a brief vacation at Good Chance Farm in Ocala, which is owned by the Brunettis (Red Oak Stable),” Sacco said. “That’s still up in the air. Or he could stay with me in light training. He’d get a little breather.
“But I would imagine he’ll probably go to the farm and get a few weeks to unwind. If he runs like we hope he will in his next start we’re on the Derby trail. We’ll have a couple spots picked out for him after that.”
Horse Racing Nation