Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables' Mind Control (Stay Thirsty) will attempt to win his third Grade I victory at Saratoga when he goes postward in the GI Forego S. Saturday. The 5-year-old pulled the 10-1 upset when going wire-to-wire in the 2018 GI Hopeful S. and returned to win the 2019 GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S., again at double-digit odds. His Spa streak was interrupted last year when he was third in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. and eighth in the Forego, but he returned to the winner's circle for the first time in over a year when outbattling Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior) in the July 4 GII John A. Nerud S. at Belmont Park last time out.
“He's good at the distance. He's won over the track and seems to be maintaining form,” trainer Todd Pletcher, who saddles Mind Control for the second time Saturday, said. “We expect a tough race, but he's doing good.”
Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect), who capped a championship season in 2020 with a win in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint, has finished second or third in all four 2021 outings and seeks his first win of the campaign in the Forego. The 8-year-old was second in the Mar. 13 Hot Springs S. and again in the Apr. 10 GII Count Fleet Sprint S. He missed by just a head when third in the May 1 GI Churchill Downs S. and was most recently a rallying third behind Lexitonian (Speightstown) after a troubled trip in the July 31 Vanderbilt.
The speedy Yaupon (Uncle Mo) opened his career with four straight wins last year, including the GII Amsterdam S. over the Saratoga strip. The 4-year-old suffered his first loss when eighth in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint and he filled that same spot in the Mar. 27 G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen before returning to the winner's circle in the July 4 Lite the Fuse S. at Pimlico last time out.
“[The Breeders' Cup] was too much too soon,” Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen said. “He had run well at Pimlico previously and I thought it was a very fast race. He came out of it in good shape. Obviously, I think he deserves the chance in the Forego. He's run very well at Saratoga, as well.”