Mind Control drives a stretch duel with Silver State in the Parx Dirt Mile and comes out the victor

September 26, 2021

BENSALEM, Pa. – Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stable’s Mind Control came back in the final stride to beat favorite Silver Slate in the Parx Dirt Mile.

With jockey John Velazquez, Mind Control settle on the outside behind the pack of Rock On Luke, Warrior’s Charge and West Will Power through fractions of :23.52 and :47.16. Mind Control took the lead at the quarter pole while Silver State, who broke awkwardly and trained the field for the first half of the race, also made his rally.

Silver Slate collared Mind Control and briefly took the lead in the stretch, but Mind Control came back for the head victory while covering the mile in 1:36.59 and paid $7.20 to win.

Warrior’s Charge prompted the pace outside, led into the stretch but couldn’t keep up with the eventual leaders and finished third. Rock On Luke was hustled to a clear lead early but faded after three quarters took fourth. Moving closer up between rivals before half a mile Thorny Tale faded. Chasing close up between the pacesetters inside West Will Power gave way on the final turn. Informative completes the order of finish. 

He didn’t give up, I didn’t give up,” Velazquez said. “When I asked for more, he gave me more. I don’t remember riding him this long, two-turns. He’s been in a mile, a one turn mile, and then I don’t remember him going that far. I always thought he could, but we never tried him for a long time, and he showed us that he could.”

Byron Hughes, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, was also pleased with the outcome for Mind Control, who has earned his second victory since Pletcher took over the 5-year-old training in the spring.

“Silver State looked like he got the jump on him, and it didn’t look like we were going to get back up in time,” Hughes said. “But Johnny kept driving and the horse has a big heart and it’s not the first time he has done something like that, so we were happy with it.

“He never gave up and Johnny never gave up on him. Johnny knows him well. Can’t say enough about his heart, that’s for sure. I was watching Silver State down the backside and he made his run around the turn, and he came up alongside of us and I thought he had the jump, and I wasn’t sure if we were going to fight back but something unexpected like that is always impressive, always exciting,” Hughes continued.

Edited Press Release
Photo: Mind Control #3 with John Velasquez riding surges past Silver State #6 and Ricardo Santana to win the Parx Dirt. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

@PastTheWire you did do her justice, this is a great read on a tragic moment in the history of our great sport, thank you.

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