Mind Control To Train Up to G1 Cigar Mile

October 9, 2022

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stable’s multiple Grade 1-winner Mind Control – a last-out repeat winner of the Parx Dirt Mile on September 24 – is slated to train up to the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile on December 3 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The 6-year-old Stay Thirsty bay brags a highly productive resume, including eight total graded stakes victories from a 28-11-3-6 record and earnings of $1,773,334. He has won at least one graded stakes each year since 2018, when he burst onto the scene with an upset triumph in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga.

Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Mind Control gamely turned back Grade 1-winning multimillionaire Hot Rod Charlie in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile on June 18 at Monmouth Park. The effort matched a career-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure, a number he also ran in last year’s Parx Dirt Mile when defeating Grade 1-winner Silver State. He crossed the wire second in this year’s running of that race but was elevated to first, following the disqualification of Far Mo Power.

Mind Control boasts a 7-4-2-1 record at Aqueduct, where he has won three graded stakes races.

“He came out of the race in perfect order. He’s over at Belmont Park with Todd’s division. What we are going to do is give him a little freshening and run him back in the Cigar Mile,” said Red Oak racing manager Rick Sacco. “He absolutely loves Aqueduct and at this point in his career, he has four starts going a mile – three wins and a second. He put up some big numbers last out. A 5 on the sheets and a third triple-digit Beyer.”

Prior to his most recent effort, Mind Control was stretched out to nine furlongs for the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic on August 26 at Charles Town, where he finished third beaten 4 1/2 lengths.

“We turned him back to a mile from the Charles Town Classic,” Sacco said. “Todd and I thought he would handle the sharp turns at Charles Town, even though it was a little out of his distance. He stumbled out of the gate, lost all position, dropped way out of the race and finished a strong third.”

Sacco said the Cigar Mile could be Mind Control’s last race.

“That’s the plan. We had multiple stallion offers last year and Steve Brunetti and Sol Kumin wanted to still run,” Sacco said. “Every single year from 2 to 6, he’s won a graded stakes. He’s knocked off Hot Rod Charlie and Silver State who are both really nice horses. He’s awesome at a mile and we’re really looking forward to the Cigar Mile. There could be one more race after the Cigar Mile in January, but right now our focus is getting him ready for the Cigar Mile.”

Sacco also reported that Mind Control’s multiple graded stakes placed half-sister Goddess of Fire has been given an extended break and is turned out at Red Oak Farm. The Pletcher-trained 3-year-old daughter of Mineshaft was a last out seventh in the Grade 1 Cotillion on September 24 at Parx.

NYRA Press Office

Photo: Mind Control (inside) outruns Hot Rod Charlie in the G3 Salvator Mile (Joe Labozzetta/EQUI-PHOTO)


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