News and STORIES
Mind Control Leads Field In Tom Fool
Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Friday March 06, 2020
Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables' Mind Control leads a field of eight in the $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (G3) March 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack. The 4-year-old Stay Thirsty colt is a dual grade 1 winner on the New York Racing Association circuit.
Mind Control is trained by Gregg Saccco and was bred in Kentucky by Red Oak Stable. He scored the Hopeful Stakes (G1) as a juvenile and the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course last year.
According to Sacco, Mind Control will continue after the six-furlong test with a campaign of grade 1 races. He already has victories from six furlongs to a mile, and he is expected to run in the seven-furlong Carter Handicap April 4 at the Big A and the one-mile Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap June 6 at Belmont Park.
"He loves New York," Sacco said. "He's like New York's adopted son, and he does his best racing here. He's really thrived here in his training, and he has an affinity for Aqueduct. He really runs well over that track. He trains super at Belmont, and we wanted to keep him close to home."
Mind Control has scored three of four starts at Aqueduct. He won the Jerome Stakes and Bay Shore Stakes (G3) last year and the Jan. 18 Toboggan Stakes (G3) in his season debut.
Sacco's original plan was to train Mind Control up to the Carter, but that changed due to the colt's readiness to run.
"He's been bouncing over the track so well and jumping out of his skin," Sacco said. "After discussing with my brother (racing manager Rick Sacco) and the team, we thought the timing would be right a month out of the Carter. It just made sense to run in the Tom Fool."
Mind Control's past five starts were at seven furlongs. The last time he sprinted at three-quarters of a mile was his maiden win at second asking in August 2018 at Monmouth Park.
Sacco believes that Mind Control will be able to cut back in distance well.
"The couple times he sprinted, he's sprinted with success. I don't think the cut back will be a problem for him going three-quarters," Sacco said. "He's really coming into the race super, and we're expecting a good race out of him on Saturday."
Junior Alvarado will pick up the mount since John Velazquez will be at Tampa Bay Downs. Mind Control will break from post 4.
"Johnny fits him like a glove, but Junior is a very talented rider. He's not a hard horse to ride, but he's had a tendency to wait on horses in the past," Sacco said. "Junior has watched all of his races and is going to speak to Johnny. I hope they're a good match on Saturday."
Rest of the Field
M and A Racing's Happy Farm, trained by Jason Servis and winner of the Dec. 8 Fall Highweight Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct, broke his four-race winning streak when he came in second to stablemate Firenze Fire in the Gravesend Stakes.
The 6-year-old Ghostzapper gelding was claimed last March at the Big A for $30,000. He has four victories and two second-place finishes in sprint events at Belmont and Aqueduct.
He will break from post 5 with Jose Lezcano.
SJB Stable and Marcello Micozzi's Skyler's Scramjet and Jay Em Ess Stable's Wonderful Light will be saddled by trainer Michelle Nevin.
Skyler's Scramjet is a 6-year-old son of Creative Cause and is searching for his first win since the 2018 Tom Fool. The last time he raced was an off-the-board finish in the Tale of the Cat Stakes in August at Saratoga.
"We're happy to have him back. He's been doing everything like clockwork and hasn't missed a beat, so we're excited to see him out there," Nevin said.
Wonderful Light, a 6-year-old son of Tiz Wonderful, finished fourth in the Gravesend Stakes last out.
He is a half-brother to multiple grade 1-winning mare By the Moon and has a record of 5-4-3 from 14 starts. Out of the multiple stakes winner By the Light, Wonderful Light is looking for his first stakes win.
Skyler's Scramjet will break from post 8 and Wonderful Light from post 3 under Luis Saez.
Bon Raison, claimed for $80,000 by Flying P Stable, will make his first start for conditioner Michael Tannuzzo. The son of Raison d'Etat is 6-21 in 2019, winning the Peeping Tom Stakes at the Big A and the Tale of the Cat at the Spa.
He will break with Eric Cancel from post 6.