MIND CONTROL (c, Stay Thirsty-Feel That Fire, by Lightning N Thunder)
O-Red Oak Stable (Brunetti) and Madaket Stables LLC. B-Red Oak Stable. T-Gregory Sacco. Lifetime Record: GISW, 5-3-1-0, $323,400.
Last Start: 1st, Jerome S., AQU, Jan. 1
Next race: GIII Gotham S., AQU, Mar. 9
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 10.
Mind Control had a schedule switch since our last update, with his connections opting out of last Saturday’s GIII Withers S. at nine furlongs in favor of the Mar. 9 Gotham S. at a mile, which would be his fifth career one-turn race from six starts. On Sunday, this homebred Stay Thirsty colt breezed four furlongs at Belmont Park (14/103), his third published work at that distance since a capable, wire-to-wire annexation of the Jerome S. on Jan. 1. Last summer, the speed-centric Mind Control dueled his way to a frontrunning score in the GI Hopeful S. at Saratoga, then spiked a fever that forced a scratch from an October stakes start at Keeneland. A poor shipping experience combined with a bad gate break hampered his chances in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (his only two-turn try). Mind Control is likely to remain focused on a path that points him to the GII Wood Memorial on Apr. 6, because his status as a Grade I winner triggers a bonus that raises the Wood purse from $750,000 to $1 million.