ELMONT, NY – Multiple Grade 1 winner Mind Your Biscuits punched his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup with a 3 1/2-length victory in the Grade 2, $350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship on Stars & Stripes Day.
The Belmont Sprint, carrying an all-fees-paid berth into the $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint on November 4 at Del Mar, marked Mind Your Biscuits’ first start since his 3-length win in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 25 at Meydan Racecourse.
Under regular jockey Joel Rosario, the 7-5 favorite Mind Your Biscuits settled in mid-pack early as the speedy Green Gratto took the field of seven through an opening 1/4 in :22.67 and the 1/2 in 45.64. Gratto and rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., were tracked down the backstretch by Irad’s brother, Jose Ortiz, aboard Unified, with Stallwalkin’ Dude another 2-3 lengths back.
Mind Your Biscuits, owned in partnership by J Stables and Head of Plains Partners, steadily picked off rivals as the field rounded the turn. The 4-year-old New York-bred by Posse hit the front at the top of the stretch and cruised to an easy victory, stopping the clock for 7 furlongs over the fast track in 1:21.84 and giving trainer Chad Summers his first win at Belmont Park.
Awesome Slew rallied late for second, a length ahead of Tommy Macho in third, and they were followed in order by Stallwalkin’ Dude, Green Gratto, Fellowship, and Unified.
“We were going 7 furlongs, so I thought maybe he should be a little bit closer,” said Rosario, who picked up his second straight stakes win on the card after taking the Grade 3 Dwyer aboard Practical Joke. “He broke very well and we settled behind some horses, and then the 7 horse (Unified) came a little bit over me, so I just had to be there and follow. I was in the perfect spot.
“He does everything on his own, easy,” Rosario added. “Everything he does is just right. He’s great. He went to Dubai and won there, and he comes back and wins again.”
The win was the fourth in graded stakes for Mind Your Biscuits, who also won the Grade 2 Amsterdam and Grade 1 Malibu last year against 3-year-olds. Finishing first boosted his career earnings to $2,207,166.
Summers, who took over the training duties of Mind Your Biscuits last winter, noted that the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego on August 26 at Saratoga Race Course will be his stable star’s next target.
“We know how good he was training going into this,” he said. “There were still be some doubters who said it was a subpar Dubai. We didn’t think so. We know what he’s capable of and we’re ready for the rest of the year. It makes me think a mile won’t be a problem for him, maybe a little bit further. He kept going and going and kicked away.
“We’ll go to the Forego right now and then look at all options, but the Forego is our next goal and hopefully (win) an Eclipse Award as well.”
Mind Your Biscuits returned $4.80, $3.30, and $2.10. Awesome Slew brought back $4.90 and $3.40, while Tommy Macho paid $3.80 to show.