Even with local heavyweights Mandaloun (Into Mischief) and Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) awaiting the $20-million Saudi Cup, there will still be plenty of talent on display in a loaded renewal of Saturday's GIII Mineshaft S. at Fair Grounds.
Miles D (Curlin), third at 18-1 in the GI Runhappy Travers S. last summer, closed out his sophomore campaign with a pair of wins, led by a promising decision in Aqueduct's 1 1/8-mile Discovery S. last time Nov. 27. The runner-up that day Speaker's Corner (Street Sense) resurfaced with a razor sharp win in the GIII Fred W. Hooper S. Jan. 29. Miles D completed his preparations for the Mineshaft with a four-furlong move in :48 3/5 (2/41) at Payson Park Feb. 12.
“This horse has done well,” trainer Chad Brown said. “He ran late in the year over at Aqueduct and put up a very nice win against a very talented horse [Speaker's Corner]. He's wintered well and now it's time to get his 4-year old season started. The race came up deeper than I thought it would. He's going to really have to fire off the layoff to beat these horses.”
Olympiad (Speightstown) looks primed for a career best following an eye-catching 7 1/4-length optional claiming victory for Hall of Famer Bill Mott in his two-turn debut at Gulfstream Jan. 15. The 3-1 Mineshaft morning-line favorite was previously a troubled fourth while making his stakes debut in a salty GI Cigar Mile H. Dec. 4.
Sidelined following a well-beaten eighth in the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. Apr. 3, Untreated (Nyquist) has been perfect since returning to action, pairing up strong wins going a one-turn mile at Aqueduct Nov. 19 and Dec. 31, respectively.
Last term's GI Kentucky Derby fifth-place finisher and GIII Matt Winn S. runner-up O Besos (Orb) brings a three-for-five record at Fair Grounds to the table, including a narrow win off the bench in an optional claimer Jan. 2.