Mind Control returns in Saturday’s Grade 3 Toboggan at Aqueduct
By New York Hot List staff
The two-time Grade 1 stakes winner Mind Control makes his 2020 debut on Saturday at Aqueduct in the seven-furlong $150,000 Grade 3 Toboggan. Mind Control won the Hopeful at Saratoga as a 2-year-old and then ended his 3-year-old campaign with another victory upstate in the Jerkens.
Trained by Gregg Sacco and managed by his brother Rick for Red Oak Stable, Mind Control has been training at Belmont Park since December in preparation for his 4-year-old debut.
“He’s had a long schedule and we kept him going without ever having a break so after the Allen Jerkens seemed like a good time to do that,” said Rick Sacco. “The goal was the Jerkens in 2019 but he had been in continuous training from May 2018 without having ever left the backside of a racetrack. This is a real good start-off race. It’s the right distance and he likes the track. He enjoyed the last winter in New York and really thrived over the Belmont training track.”
Mind Control has been off since his courageous nose victory in the Jerkens at the end of August.
“We gave him time off on the farm and he really transformed into a nice, beautiful-looking 4-year-old,” Sacco said. “He put on weight, he grew, and this just seemed like the best spot back.”
The son of Stay Thirsty, who has a career record of 10: 5-2-1 with earnings of $805,000, won three of his five starts at the seven-furlong distance. He also won twice at Aqueduct last year in the Jerome and then in the Bay Shore (G3).
Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez will travel up from Florida to retain the mount on Mind Control who will break from post-position eight in the field of nine. Velazquez rode him in all of his victories except his maiden win at Monmouth Park.
The Toboggan is slated as race 8 out of 9 with post-time scheduled for 3:55 pm ET.
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